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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taken Aback

The Hay Harvest
Artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Year 1565
Type Oil on wood

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3 NIV).

Today Kathy and I had lunch with a young friend celebrating his 22nd birthday. While a youth he received disability for mental impairment (slowness). Yet I have never found this to affect our relationship in any way whatsoever. The longer I live the more mystified I am by the concept of intelligence. Last night on CNN I saw an interview with an eminent CEO; I thought he had some very foolish things to say. Today at lunch I ask my young friend—“if life were a test, what would it be a test of?” He thought a moment and said soberly that it was a hard question. Then he responded that “life is a test of faith.” I was abashed. This was in no way the response I expected from a “slow” young man of 22. It seems to me that on the whole we pay way too much attention to official repositories of status—positions of power or prestigious credentials—and not near enough to the voice of more humble folk with a rare asset—having what Christ referred in the first Beatitude as being “poor in spirit.” After all, where are we more likely to come closer to finding the truth—among the humble or among the arrogant?

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