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Beatitudes for the Inner City

Blessed are the captive, for they will be set free.

Blessed are the marginalized, for they will be first in the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the hungry, for they will be fed.

Blessed are the bruised and battered, for they will be healed.

Blessed are the lonely, for they will find friendship with God.

Blessed are those who sacrifice for others, for they will have an abundance.

Blessed are the mentally ill, for they will learn to rely on God.

Blessed are those who struggle with sin, for they will learn obedience.

Blessed are the tired, for they will find rest.

Blessed are the homeless, for they will have mansions in heaven.

Blessed are the unloved, for they will experience God’s love.

My church is in the middle of the worst part of town. Here we find gangs, drunks, sniffers, druggies, prostitutes, the homeless, the destitute and more. The largest ethnic population is aboriginal, who certainly have been marginalized and disenfranchised here in Canada. Many of the homeless are the mentally ill who have fallen through the cracks of the system intended to help them. Our people are hungry, bruised, battered, sick, lonely, often dishevelled and captive to sin, drugs and oppressors.

Lord, there are so many people in desperate need of you—they have no one else and no way else to be released from poverty, abuse and sin. So many of us can hide our need for you because we have a more ready supply of money to buy the things other than you that help us feel better, but these people have nothing. They are blessed, Lord, because their only way out is through you. There is no other way. Lord, I want to be part of your blessing team to these my church neighbours. Rescue them, please and bring healing to our neighbourhood—not by the sickness being moved elsewhere but with true healing of the people and the land. Thank you.

What sort of beatitudes would you write? Who are the “unblessable” around you?


The above post was inspired by the chapter "Redefining Blessedness" in Learning from Jesus: A Spiritual Formation Guide by Renovaré. The following questions were asked: "Come up with your own version of the Beatitudes, tailored to those people you see around you who may be considered unblessable by the rules of society. Why do you think these people are not considered by others to be prime candidates for the kingdom of God?"

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

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Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
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I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …