Upon reflection, it would seem that scripture bears out the contention that God’s intervention in the affairs of man has usually been filtered through the disenfranchised, the poor, and the weak. In the Old Testament culture of the chosen people the first-born son was the ranking heir-apparent, yet the righteous and humble Abel was second. David, the shepherd king was eighth-born, and the doted-upon Joseph with his coat of many colors was twelfth born. In the New Testament the 12 apostles are all common men of lower estate – mostly fishermen. In more recent time the Lives of the Saints is filled with a majority of “lower class” individuals who, if not actually poor, were not notable in the world’s terms by birth or fame. These people down through history seem to be the ones who have defined for us Your relationship with man.
There have been those who, examining history, have said that the notions of God and religion and all things spiritual have arisen to fill the needs of those whose needs are greatest. This is often spoken as an indictment – an exposition of the directions in which the breezes of ignorance bend us. Such a “spin” on the matter manipulates the truth. When we are the emptiest in every respect, You can find space to fill us. In this respect these commentators are correct when they say God, religion, and spirituality arise from the neediest. But what they miss is that the needy themselves don’t create it, You do – because in them You can. The lesson seems apparent: those richest in money, status, and power have by their own admission few needs – certainly less need for a God who wants to come to them if they divest to make Him room. The truth that religion is the opiate of the working class and the poor suffers only from the use of the term “opiate.” Others must realize that they are less “drugged’ than they are loved.
To be among the blessed poor in spirit one may indeed have to know something of socio-economic poverty. Money, status, and power do not seem tobe fertile seeds in the soil of a spiritual garden. Where there is something lacking, or where there is loss in a person there seems to be more room for You.