One of the most haunting stories I’ve ever read was “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor was such a master storyteller that this one story has generated numerous theories, countless essays and other writings. O’Connor didn’t pull any punches; the story of the family who happens upon ‘The Misfit’, a type of psychotic serial killer straight out of the darkest episode of “Criminal Minds”, is horrific.
There is much to consider in this story, but the thing I was thinking about today was what ‘The Misfit’ says, just before he shoots the grandmother (such a terrible thing, shooting the grandmother, irritating though she was). I don’t have a copy of the story, but he says something like ‘Jesus threw everything off balance.’ How true that is. It makes me think of the Beatitudes, and how upside down they seem. And then I think of my family and all the negative things I could say about us, and then I think about how God loves us anyway, misfits that we are, and then I write my own version of Matthew 5 where Jesus turns everything upside down.
Blessed are the black sheep,
For their shepherd knows them.
Blessed are the unlovable,
For they shall be adored.
Blessed are the illiterate,
For the word of God is written on their hearts.
Blessed are the afflicted,
For they will know grace.
Blessed are those who doubt,
For he will be revealed.
Blessed are the addicted,
For they shall be released.
Blessed are the disenfranchised
For they shall be restored.
Blessed are the generous,
For they reveal the heart of God.
Blessed are those who seek God,
For they will find him.
Blessed are you when surrounded by doubt, and you believe; by ugliness and you see beauty; by violence, and you reveal peace.