Mitch, A Life Described in the Beatitudes
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.
I received a call back from Mitch. I wasn’t available to take the call at the time, so he left a message. In it, he confirmed he could move us from our house in eastern North Carolina to our new home in Asheville. His tone was simple and professional. At the end of the message, he said, “God Bless.”
I was struck by his frankness in expressing his Christian values and the warmth that “God Bless” brings. In this age of political correctness, it surprised me that he was so bold in leaving this message. But it told me a lot about Mitch that, through subsequent conversations, I would confirm.
He is humble
He is a humble businessperson who respects his customers and is committed to doing a professional job. I had received Mitch’s name from my trusted friend Larry, who told me Mitch was the only person he would trust moving his clients. Larry warned me that Mitch was in high demand and might not be available.
I had called two other moving companies to see if they could help—large national companies with big advertising budgets. They were “just okay” in their effort to help. As with most large companies, I knew I would have to do a lot of follow up to make sure I got all the answers I needed. As I expected, when I discussed my move with these firms I was doing all the follow-up and pushing them to give me complete answers. It was at this point I stopped calling around and decided on Mitch.
Mitch was amazing.
He took pictures of every piece of furniture and of the contents in every drawer. His quote was detailed and thorough. There was no item left out. He even asked for a picture of the street in front of our new home so that he could make sure where to park on moving day.
What you should know is that Mitch was a person who came from very meager beginnings. As an African American who grew up in the South during the fifties and sixties, he was subjected to segregated schools and restrooms. He knew what to say to avoid being harassed. He minded his place—not because he agreed with being forced to take leftovers, but because his parents had taught him the values of Christianity.
While he knew his early life was wrong, it didn’t change the way he treated others – He didn’t give into the evil of others; he chose a different path. His path was that of following Jesus.
Mitch started his business with just a truck and a few friends. There was no grand strategy or business plan. Only that he worked as if he was working for the Lord. Every customer was treated the way Mitch thought they should be treated. He doesn’t lose his cool with angry people; he always keeps his smile.
His smile and Christian values helped make Mitch a busy man.
Soon, word spread about him and his business. Local real estate agents began to recommend him. The locals knew and trusted him. He didn’t have a big advertising budget to attract new customers, he only had his smile and a desire to earn his customers’ trust. Now he is in high demand.
In this day of political correctness, it was refreshing for a businessperson to say, “God Bless.” You won’t hear that on most of your voicemails, probably not this year or next.
But Mitch built his business on his values, which are those of Jesus. This is Mitch’s stronghold and place of refuge.
Jesus’s first great sermon is called The Sermon on the Mount. It is fully available to be read in Matthew 5-7. It states Jesus’s mission and purpose. Included first in this sermon is the section called the Beatitudes, from Matthew 5:3-11. They are called the Beatitudes from the Latin word, beati, which means blessed. There are nine Beatitudes—four are blessings, and four are woes, which mirror the blessings. The last refers to the perseverance of being Christian.
The Beatitudes are also in Luke as part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Plain, Luke [6:20]-22. The Sermon on the Plain is Luke’s version of Jesus’s first sermon. It is similar but was directed more to the poor of the Judean world.
A direct connection
When I read these Beatitudes and think about Mitch and his life, I see a direct connection. It is almost as if Jesus knew Mitch and how his faithful life would turn out. He was meek and will inherit the kingdom of God. He is pure of heart and, surely, he will see God.
I could never describe Mitch and his life as accurately as it is expressed in the Beatitudes. Listed below are the exact words from the Sermon on the Mount.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman