Blessed Are the Unemployed

So this is a blessing? We're blessed in being dependent, jobless, without resources, without status?

BY: Adrienne Thompson


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Can we trust in God's assessment of us, not be undermined by employers who reject us? Can we accept gifts gratefully and simply instead of fretting because we're not in a position to return favors? Can we be ourselves without apology? Not exploit people's good will nor be embarrassed by their pity?

To hunger and thirst for righteousness in this place of unemployment seems to me a call to want God more than his good gifts. We pray daily for a job, not just any job but the right one. We assure ourselves and each other that something will turn up soon, God must intend for us to have a job and even a ministry. On my good days I believe it. On my bad days I reinforce my broken faith with the splint of this beatitude: God first and God last, whether or not he grants our prayers.

The mercy transactions are an easier lesson. We've given and taken mercy over the years, this is familiar ground. Not so purity in heart. No wonder I don't see God very much.

I've never before lived the beatitudes as I'm living them now, or trying to. I still don't know what they mean, but I'm striving to direct my experience of joblessness through these steep, rocky, difficult words.

Jesus never said "Blessed are the unemployed." And if he had, I don't think he would have added "for they shall obtain a job." But he might have promised a radically transformed perspective on what it means to be blessed.

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