Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blessed are the Meek

By Cheryl Hartzman
 
Mathew 5:5

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

             In the song Blessed, by Simon and Garfunkle, the concept of the undeserving being blessed is graphically portrayed:  “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit. . Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on, O lord, why have you forsaken me? . . . Blessed are the meth drinkers, pot sellers, illusion dwellers.  O lord, why have you forsaken me? . . . Blessed are the penny rookers, cheap hookers, groovy lookers.
O lord, why have you forsaken me?  I have tended my own garden, Much too long.”

            As a child, I never understood Mathew’s statement.  To me, like Simon and Garfunkle, the definition of meek is weak, frail, unable, incapable.  For the life of me, I could not understand why characteristics like that would be, not only desirable, but rewarded? 

            So now as an adult these thoughts are returning, and I’ve decided to investigate a little because my understanding of Mathew is probably more in error then Mathew’s delivery of divine information.  Allow me, if you will, to take you on a trip to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary where we will find a definition for meek.

Pronunciation: 'mEk
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse mjukr gentle; akin to Welsh mwyth soft
1 : enduring injury with patience and without resentment
2 : deficient in spirit and courage
3 : not violent or strong

Definition number two is certainly in keeping with what I thought meek meant.  But how can a word mean it’s opposite?  One can not be deficient in spirit and courage if one is to endure injury with patience and without resentment.  I would never dare call Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ghandi men who were lacking in spirit or courage!  To endure such things, you must be non-violent.  And to be non-violent certainly takes more strength than it does to simply release the energy of anger when ever and where ever you please.

I think I have finally reconciled this puzzle.  The definition of meek has over the centuries been altered by our culture to its extreme opposite.

Blessed are those strong enough to overcome violence for they shall inherit the earth or the land.

Blessed are those strong enough to overcome violence.  Overcome violence.  Matthew goes on to say in 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.

Return to your lives this day, and create peace in your heart, in your mind, in your home.  Become sons and daughters of God and practice conflict resolution in a calm and peaceful manner with communication, patience and compassion.  Next time you feel the urge to yell choose silence.  Next time you feel the urge to throw and hit, breathe and think on the meaning of meek.  You are all Blessed sons and daughters of God because I know, in your hearts is the strength to become meek.