Perspectives: A Sermon from the Mount, Part 2

written by Seth Haines – for Part 1: Read here.

It was all that Daniel could talk about—this man, who was at the Mountain pass today.  Last night, when he climbed into my lap, when he stretched out his five-year old legs, when he smiled and said “Jesus is camping by the mountain,” I could feel joy sucking the breath from his ribs.  This man talked to children, Daniel told me.  “Sometimes,” Daniel said, “Jesus will stop, right there in the market, and find one of us and whisper ‘go’ and we’ll race to the end of the road.”  He laughed and told me, “Jesus never wins.”

So, when I stared at all hope sitting in my lap, I returned his toothy grin and said, “want to go?” and Daniel squeeled and jumped his yes.  As a man of little means, time is the easiest present to afford.

But now I stand shoulder to shoulder with this crowd of people.  I did not expect such support for a rebel teacher whose followers are children and moneyless men.  I had heard that the teachers in the synagogue wanted to kill him.  But then again, the teachers are always grasping at rules and stones.  They are fond of cursing and throwing, and it is a wonder that they have never cast the first at me.  I have nothing to offer them.  In fact, I can only take.  After all, if the rules prevent me from filling my son’s belly with stolen bread, it is the rules that have killed my son, not hunger.  I understand this.  The teachers do not.

Yet somehow, I want better for Daniel.  He deserves better than this beggar-thief can offer.

Daniel is hopping up and down.  He is trying to steal a glimpse.  I would let him keep hopping, because it’s a joyful, one-legged kind, but the man standing next to me is out of place, and I do not trust him.  I reach down and hook Daniel under the shoulders, hoisting him onto my own.  He tussles my hair and whispers excitement, saying, “I see him, I see him, Daddy.”  And so do I.  His eyes, for a moment, are locked on John’s—not the one who follows him, but the one wearing the leper’s robes.  The one who used to be devout.  We all know his story.

Slowly he turns to face us, smiling first at the lame and crippled, then at the beggars jingling their copper coins.  He follows the sea of weak and wounded, until he finds the the gaze of a thief, and locks me inside of him.  And with the glinting eyes of a father offering his son a cup of cold water, he holds out his hand to me, and says

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

About me


On a Regular Day: the Terrible and the Fantastic
June 23, 2015
A Community Companion: on learning love
October 27, 2010
April 06, 2010
Perspectives: A Sermon From the Mount, Part 3
March 17, 2010
on the shadow and a confession: a love story
February 03, 2010
on the wild and the house trailer
January 08, 2010
just this day, a Rock Home Companion
November 09, 2009
On the Arkansas Travelers
October 13, 2009
on the Mother of God
October 02, 2009


To Think Is To Create
Reply March 2, 2010

I want to read more and more and more...that last paragraph? Wow.

I imagine His eyes, the look. The freedom from His words. With one line an entire world breaths a heavy sigh of relief. If only we believe.

Reply March 2, 2010

Wow, I have goosebumps!

You and your wife are disgustingly talented and boy am I jealous! :) All this talent must ooze from your pores. I hope you each keep journals and continuously write, so your children can enjoy them, when they are older. I am so excited for the next portion of this amazing work of art.

You both are just too awesome! I am so grateful I found your blog.

Love in Christ!

Reply March 2, 2010

Oh, to see His face.

Ol' Seth
Reply March 3, 2010

To Think, Amanda, Erin (and Gypsy),

Thanks for your kind words. I really want to know what he meant when he blessed the poor in spirit and gave them the kingdom. Thanks for following along with my exploration of this idea.

Aunt Pam
Reply March 3, 2010

I second what Amanda said!
Love & miss y'all!!! Hugs!

Reply March 3, 2010

Is this the last part, or will there be more? Say "more."

Ol' Seth
Reply March 3, 2010

Dear Jana,

More. Probably 2 more parts. And so glad you want more, although it doesn't come close to a John Barber flick review.

Reply March 3, 2010

Love what you're writing and exploring here, brother.

Reply March 4, 2010

seth haines - you're a beast! love where these bits are going. and i love that you've got a hundred dozen more of these bits cramped all up in your beautiful self.

blessed are the haines in fayettenaum, for theirs is a voice that resuscitates the weary.

Reply March 4, 2010

Nic & Hamster,

You are both two of my favorite people. Really. I mean it.

Looking forward to both of your visits.

Reply March 5, 2010

what a household of creative writers!
i love this series, seth. thank you!
makes me think...

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