Our stance as Christians in the midst of the world is that of poor persons,
possessing nothing, not even ourselves,
and yet being gifted at every instant in and through everything.
When we become too affluently involved with ourselves and deny our inherent poverty,
then we lose the gifts and either begin to make demands for what we think we deserve (often leading to angry frustration)
or we blandly take for granted all that comes our way.
Only the truly poor person can appreciate the slightest gift and feel genuine gratitude.
The more deeply we live in faith the more we become aware of how poor we are and how gifted;
life itself becomes humble, joyful thanksgiving.
When the prosperous man on a dark but starlit night drives comfortably in his carriage and has the lanterns lighted, aye, then he is safe, he fears no difficulty, he carries his light with him, and it is not dark close around him.
But precisely because he has the lanterns lighted, and has a strong light close to him, precisely for this reason, he cannot see the stars. For his lights obscure the stars, which the poor peasant, driving without lights, can see gloriously in the dark but starry night.
So are those deceived ones who live in the temporal existence: either, occupied with the necessities of life, they are too busy to avail themselves of the view, or in their prosperity and good days they have, as it were, lanterns lighted, and close about them everything is so satisfactory, so pleasant, so comfortable—but the view is lacking, the prospect, the view of the stars.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Gospel of Suffering
This Week’s Special
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.