Two more beatitudes:
focus: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Søren Kierkegaard considered purity of heart. For him, purity of heart meant clarity and focus and passion and living. So when Jesus blesses the pure in heart, he’s blessing a clear-sighted and uncontaminated approach to life. Perhaps it is more important that we strive to be pure in heart, rather than whether we attain it. If we think too much about being pure in heart we know we will never make it – but we can try. On one occasion, Jesus explained the basic principle by which he operated – he just did what he saw his father doing. He kept a look out for God’s action in the world and joined in. This experiment is a start to exploring this, as usual in a much truncated form:
experiment: Pick a prayer like "God, I want to see you." Or, "God, show me what you're doing today." Notice anything that occurs to you afterwards - do you want to go somewhere, or see someone or read something. You decide what to do with these thoughts. You may see God in some of these things - if you do, you may want to thank him for revealing him to yourself. When we chase God with all of our heart, we tend to find him.
engage: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
This isn’t about the absence of noise, the absence of disturbance. This isn’t about keeping the peace either – it about making peace. It is about the advent of harmony.
Making peace means creating something new into being where there was once disharmony. It can be a risky business as it is basically quite presumptuous on our part. We can be stepping in to other peoples business, perhaps without invite. But perhaps in being peacemakers, we are in a way God look-alikes. The experiment:
experiment: Think about a recurrent situation that frustrates you or annoys you. Frequently pray peace over the situation or person. Use little tools to remind you through the day - watch alarms, or associations. And do some watchful waiting - try and see if there is any way in you might have an opportunity to move things along to the kind of peace you would like to see.
Sometimes the acts that make up these steps towards peace are small, but perhaps significant for those involved. But when we pray for peace we get to be ‘in on the act’. We get to know what it is like to be a child in the family business.