“Blessed are the meek – they shall inherit the earth!”
Meek? Doesn’t that mean weak? Someone who is a pushover, a loser, who can’t stand up for themselves? What on earth does Jesus mean by this? Is God going to come down and wipe their noses and make everything better for them?
Meek might be out of fashion, but do we really know what it means? What it means in today’s world?
In this world of ‘in your face’ attitude,
There isn’t much scope for being meek.
In our thrusting, all-consuming society,
This disposition is clearly, merely weak.
A creed for pushovers, another crutch
For the religious and emotional cripples.
Losers, all. Bowing down at the altar
Of a sham god with shambolic disciples.
Do the meek squeak like frightened mice,
Scurrying away to their cowardly lairs when
Real life intrudes? Spineless, yielding, soft:
Praying when they should stand up like men?
When Jesus said they’d inherit the earth,
Did He mean that, in running from a fight,
They would outlast their braver brethren,
And end up with everyone else out of sight?
Be strong and show yourself a man!
Isn’t that part of the martyrs’ mettle?
Surely faith demands some backbone?
Not a heart that’s shrinking and brittle?
What does this beatitude really mean?
Jesus is stressing: a now and a then.
Blessed are they who live such NOW,
To realise THEN – the kingdom of heaven.
A reversal then: strength through weakness?
Putting aside our legitimate desires today,
In surrender to the higher purpose of God,
And anticipation of that blessed endless day?
Meekness: patience with the reality of things.
Understanding that this life is dappled light:
Joys and virtues comingle with sorrows and sin,
And justice cannot be demanded as a right.
Meekness: quiet strength of purpose to hold
Fast to the Truth, and not to what flatters.
Knowing what is worth fighting for and what
Just isn’t – discernment of what really matters.
Is there then a meekness for a modern world?
A gentle forbearance that puts others first?
The courage to walk against a sea of ME?
Holding to values the majority have reversed?
Is there here a teaching for the planet?
A refusal to plunder the earth’s bounty,
Knowing that our cake is not without limit,
Refusing to join the ranks of the greedy?
Meekness: a person who can step back,
Not in weakness but with true generosity;
Whose humility creates the space for love,
Affirming one and all – and the least especially.
The meek will yet prove their worth,
And assuredly inherit the earth.