Are You a Beggar?

In a moment I was surrounded by children, hands grasping, reaching.


When I’m home I take seriously the instruction in Scripture to give to those who ask you.  It’s my practice to give, whether or not I think they will use that gift “wisely.”  I don’t know if that person is really poor, homeless, hungry.  God knows.  My little bit may meet an immediate need.

But when I’m in some other nation, where poverty is pervasive, where hunger haunts, I don’t know what to do.  I want to respond, to give a little to alleviate some, but a coin in one hand is quickly followed by a dozen more small hands. They are begging because they have nothing.  They are destitute.

Jesus tells us we are blessed when we are destitute, when we are beggars.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

Jesus had two words to choose from for “poor.”  The first defines the way many poor people live—just barely getting by, under the “poverty” line, scrambling to survive paycheck to paycheck, but surely not “begging.”

The word Jesus chose, however, means just that--“beggar”—a person who is destitute, who will not survive unless someone helps.  A person who has no choice but to beg, who puts an empty hand out to be filled.Many of us seem to think we belong in the first category spiritually.  We know our lives are not what they should be.  We have some flaws, some small sins.  We don’t quite measure up.  But we are getting by.  We look like pretty good Christians.

In reality, we are destitute.  We cannot make it on our own.  We need to recognize our own poverty of spirit, our destitution, our spiritual bankruptcy.  Only then will be ready to receive God’s mercy and grace.  When we stick our hands out, begging God to supply all we need, He will do so lavishly, freely, with overflowing abundance beyond what we can imagine or ask.  He shares the spiritual riches of Heaven with us.

Even now, I’m destitute, desperate to be filled with the Bread of Heaven.  My hand is out.  And once again, my Father is filling it.

What about you?  Is your hand out?

C2013 Judy Douglass