Spiritual Poverty

Once upon a time there were 2 friends, Simon and Jabez . Both of them were best of friends and helped each other out in assignments tests etc.

They both like to spend their break time hearing people’s talks , sometimes it would be people’s opinions on teachers or subjects or school rules and other things like it.

On one fine day, they heard a bespectacled classmate talk about Christianity which they usually make jokes about. But today, they heard things really different and that caught their interest. They heard about the beatitudes.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn , blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the pure in their hearts…’’

“Hey u there, glassy, what does poor in spirit mean?”,  asked Simon.

The boy whose nickname was glassy, otherwise known as Emil, was surprised that they asked a serious question and weren’t making jokes of it.

“It’s like beggars begging for alms,”

“Begging for alms? What? Do you expect us to become lazy and beg for readymade answers for home work from you? “ Jabez asked, causing both Simon and him to chortle.

“No –“ the boy’s nose reddened in embarrassment. They never changed after all, Emil thought to himself. “I mean just like beggars aren’t feeling enough with their alms and keep begging, Jesus tells us to have this wanting to grow more in him and not be satisfied”

‘Isn’t that same as being greedy? “ Simon asked Jabez.

“Yeah I thought gluttony was one of the seven deadly sins!” Jabez asserted.

“Look I might not be able to explain well but I’m sure if you repent your sins and accept Jesus as lord and savior you’ll get to know bit by bit on this journey with Jesus’’ Emil said, giving them a brochure including of repentance, salvation and baptism.

“We already know this stuff don’t we?” Jabez asked Simon, reading through the brochure.

Simon nodded and said, “Yeah!  We were baptized when we were kids!’’

“But do y’all know what is the purpose of baptism?” Emil asked.

Blank faces greeted Emil.

“If y’all are free this weekend, I would like to invite you to this youth meeting I’m going to. The address is in the brochure.  Y’all could clarify more with pastor”

Simon and Jabez looked at each other and shrugged. “Sounds really boring though, we’ll see’’, Jabez said.

Emil’s shoulder deflated and shrunk back into his seat. He thought to himself, ‘it was at least worth a try’

On the day of the youth meeting, Emil thought he was hallucinating when he saw two familiar heads in the group.  “Simon? Jabez? Is that you?” Emil faintly called out.

“Nope we are the Xerox clones, we come from another universe.” Simon quipped making a namaste greeting.

“Soo glad that both of you could come. Means so much to me!” Emil couldn’t resist his elated grin.

“Who said we still don’t think this is dumb?” Simon snickered.

“We thought it would be impolite to refuse an invitation, is all” Jabez uttered with a stiff lip.

Emil grin slightly turned to a frown , paused for a while before saying, ‘’Still glad y’all could come’’

The meeting started and Emil was excited to hear the thought as usual. He wondered if his classmates fell asleep but to his surprise they heard with rapt attention more than they listened in a classroom!

Soon enough the meeting ended and Emil went with his class mates who peppered the youth pastor with questions.

Emil didn’t expect them to continue coming the next week and the week after next and it soon grew into months.

At the start, during their discussions they were saying this like, “this sounds way impossible! Who could even do all this?” “It’s easier to turn into hypocrites and follow this stuff”

Emil slightly chuckled to himself, thinking of how he did things that Christ wanted even when he didn’t exactly like it. Oh the number of times he was ignored in class or was the butt of jokes, it all sounded possible rather than impossible. They’re really beginners aren’t they, he thought to himself.

Soon as the time passed, during their discussions they were saying things like, “what does overflow in Holy Spirit do? “ Why do we got to pray?” “Why is there a need to be prepared any time when Jesus comes?”
They also asked really adult deep questions even Emil didn’t bother to think of! Eh they might be asking extra questions to show off or something. Emil consoled himself with such words.

Months passed into years and now it was time for board exams. Emil thought he would skip a few youth meetings, his parents were ok with it and so was his pastor when he told them the reason. He was sure Jabez and Simon would follow his suit and he thought to himself with an inner smugness, ‘I bet I would be taking the least number of skips of meetings compared to them’

Later during the class time, he asked them how their study sessions were going. Both of them gave their signature shrug. “Oh yeah that reminds me, we don’t see you anymore in meetings!’’ , Jabez said with eyebrow raised.

“Wait—y’all go to meetings and also find time to study?!?!?” Emil was flabbergasted.

Simon and Jabez shared a knowing look.

Jabez said, “Do you remember what you said on that day. Something about being poor in spirit?”

“Yeah, so?” Emil couldn’t get what they were trying to imply for some minutes.

Suddenly like a huge load of bricks Emil came to understand… That his thirst for Christ was nowhere to be seen but theirs is clear as daylight.

“Thank you both of you so much for making me realize that!” Emil said with eyes slightly watered and rushed to find the next class.

“Nah we ought to thank you glassy’’ Simon grinned, catching up with Emil.

“Simon! You better call him Emil, now that he’s our friend!” Jabez playfully slapped on Simon’s shoulders. Looking at Emil, Jabez shook his hand to thank. “We decided to take baptism, we’d be looking forward to meet you”

Emil’s happiness knew no bounds as he accepted their invitation.

Angel Antony

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