Backwards Beatitudes

I know. I’ve been MIA on the blog lately. I’ve found it challenging to keep all of the ATS balls in the air during Mama’s back surgery and recovery. The to-do list got whittled down to the must-do and the blog didn’t make the cut.

Mama’s doing well, improving a little more every day. She’s a good patient. She doesn’t want to “bother anyone”, this from a woman who has spent her life tending family and friends. Bother me, mama? It’s a privilege.

There remains a ton of things I should/could be doing right now, but I’d rather check in with y’all. Hope your week was good, but more importantly, I hope you made time to seek God our Strength.

Earlier in the week, I was playing a quick game of tennis with Dixie Belle before heading to Mama’s when something in the grass caught my attention. Closer inspection revealed  a crown.

Not sure it makes the same impact here but I haven’t been able to stop thinking it.

“What’s the message?” I’ve asked, more than once. “Why does this crown intrigue me so?” Silence.

And just now, it hits me.  It’s because I would have preferred the grass to be dead and the crown to be green. I could’ve signed on to that symbolism a lot easier. As it was, the crown lay there withered and dry while the indifferent blades of grass shouted, “We’re alive. We’re living. You’re dead. You’re gone.”

But He’s not. The One who wore the crown of thorns for each of us if fully alive,  awaiting a time known only to His Father when he will return for those who believe. The grass– “Today it is alive, tomorrow it is cast into the oven…” And I made the connection.

The crown was staying with me because I’ve been captivated lately by the upside down. Everywhere God says up, the world says down. I’d been playing around with the notion during my devotions, been jotting down something I titled The Backwards Beatitudes. They aren’t meant to be disrespectful and they are by no means intended to rival or take the place of the blessings recorded on that mount in Matthews. Just upside down thoughts that help me understand what I see in a downward-spiraling world trying so desperately to force God out of His own creation, to our own peril.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are those who are convinced they don’t need God, for they will never experience Him. 

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are those who don’t long to be united with God, for they will never know the comfort of His presence.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are those who are full of self-importance for they will not inherit the earth.

Most unfortunate and to be envied are those who hunger for what the world offers for they will never be satisfied.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are the unforgiving for they won’t know forgiveness.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are those with many loves for they will never know Love.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are the aggressors of this world for they will not be called the sons of God.

Most unfortunate and to be pitied are those with palatable beliefs, whose faith doesn’t challenge the world, for they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Blessings and hugs, Shellie

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About Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Known as The Belle of All Things Southern, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is a national best-selling author, speaker, radio host, and columnist from Louisiana.
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2 Responses to Backwards Beatitudes

  1. Lori says:

    I really like this piece. It is very good to remember things like this in this world. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad your mama is doing better. My grandma recently had back surgery as well. Such a painful ordeal! God be with you, Miss Shellie.

  2. Thank you for your kind words for Mam, Lori! I will pass them on. 🙂

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