God said, “Blessed are the Poor!”
Why do we want to be rich?
Our neighbourhood had shared walls. It was tight; no place to walk between houses, and no place for gardens. Parking your car, even turning into your driveway took practise and skill. It was a middle-class neighbourhood, yet everyone employed a maid to clean their houses, except us. Instead, we called the street children in for breakfast. It gave the neighbours something to gossip about.
One morning I walked into the street to climb into our jeep and run some errands. A neighbouring gate opened and out strode a woman who was in her mid-thirties. She looked much older. From her clothing, I knew she was a maid leaving the house she’d cleaned. Her face looked tired and unhappy—she looked as if she was dragging the rest of her body behind her.
As she walked by, I greeted her with a “Hello, what’s your name? How are you?”
“Meena.” And instead of giving me an ordinary, “Fine, thank you,” she dove into a long dialogue about how unwell she was.
Her health had deteriorated over the past few months. When she left Nepal, her mother didn’t think she would ever see her alive again. Her condition was worsening and doctors had given up hope. She was barely able to eat and drink. I was utterly helpless to advise her.
“I don’t know what I can do for you, but if you want, Meena, I can pray for you.”
Her eyes lite up, and she wagged her head, “Yes!”
Then I was embarrassed. “I am just driving into the city for some work. Can you come tomorrow? I need to leave now.”
“Yes, I’ll come tomorrow.” She turned and walked down the road. I got in my car and drove off.
The next day, at the same hour, she came to my house. I was not there. My invitation to her had left my mind. She knocked at our door and my husband answered. He explained I was not at home, and asked, “Can you come back tomorrow?”
Once more, she wagged her head “Yes” and walked back down the road.
When I returned home and learned that she had come again, I felt bad. But she came again on the third day. I invited her inside.
“Meena, would you like a cup of tea? Some cake?”
“No. I can’t eat or drink anything.”
As I sat down beside her on our low cushioned couch, she looked at me and I knew she was wondering what I planned to do. So, I began.
“Meena, do you know anything about Jesus?”
“No. Who’s Jesus?”
I proceeded with a quick 5-minute introduction of who God is and why he came to earth in human form.
“God created the world and was born like a man to help us. He lived for us, and died for us. When he died, he promised his death would bring healing and forgiveness for sin. All we had to do was believe that he was God and what he said was true.
Meena asked seriously, “Can anyone have this healing and how much does it cost?”
“It is free. God died for us to give us healing. It is free for everyone. Shall I pray for your healing?”
I closed my eyes, but peeked out just a crack, for I caught Meena’s bewildered look. Her eyes were wide opened and she was watching me intently. I took her hands in mine and prayed that God would heal her because of his love for her.
Then I looked at her. She hadn’t stopped staring at me. I smiled and rose from the couch. She stood and headed for the door. As she stepped outside, she said, “How long will it take? When will I get healed?”
“I don’t know, Meena. Just wait and see.” She left.
Three days later there was a knock on the door. I opened it up and Meena stood tall and strong, shining like the sun and her smile went from ear to ear.
“Come in. Would you like some chai?”
“Would you like some cake?”
“How are you?”
“I’m fine.” Then she went on to tell me how absolutely fine she was and how her family, and the whole neighbourhood could not believe what had happened to her. In fact, it went further than just her being healed. Her husband was an alcoholic and would beat her and her children daily. Because of her miraculous healing, he stopped drinking and totally changed.
Now, I was the surprised one. Whose faith healed Meena? I knew most assuredly that it was not mine. I was obedient; that became Meena’s blessing. It was so true. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Meena was like a child, she had faith like a child. She had the kind of faith that can move mountains. Meena became my spiritual lesson. Yes, if only I could have that wonderful poor in spirit attitude; I would have that child-like faith to move mountains. Meena moved her mountain of illness right off the face of the earth.
Regarding faith, the poor know how to “just” believe; no complications or preconceptions. Child-like faith. I’m jealous. Why doesn’t anyone want to be poor?