"It is not enough to be poor in money."

In the letter from the Mahoneys, they said they hoped I was gaining a good understanding of the poor from my experiences here. That got me thinking.

A few days ago I quoted Luke 6.20 again: "He lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said, 'Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'" I've written quite a bit on the connection between poverty and the blessed life Jesus promised, usually focusing on the fact that this was real material poverty that Jesus was talking about (and living). But in that emphasis I've skimmed over the reality that blessed poverty is a very specific and unusual thing. "It is obvious that all poverty is not 'blessed,'" I wrote in one entry, but that is all. At another point I quoted Ellul: "It is not enough to be poor in money. It is also important to be poor in spirit." I don't think I've given this enough attention, though.

Maybe one of the biggest lessons I've learned here is the difference between the person degraded by poverty (and suffering) and the person purified by it. I think I need to focus on that difference for a while and write some more about it.