Well then, I’m rather frustrated. I just wrote this post and hit “save” and it disappeared. I’ve been writing all afternoon and this was to be the last thing I wrote and I’m spent. My creativity is gone.
I am in need of a blessing on this post. It is strangely appropriate to be frustrated and in need of a blessing. If blessings are only for the cleaned up versions of ourselves, our work, and our lives, we don’t really need them. But if they are for the moments of tears and gnashing of teeth as well as for the special moments, that rings truer.
As we enter our last practice in An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, I feel the way I do at the end of many good books, a mixture of happy and sad. I’ve read this book before, truly more like consumed it in one week. Thank you for slowing down and reading it with me. This is one for community and dialogue.
In the post that only God read, I shared three thoughts:
1. The faith tradition I came from wasn’t big on blessings outside of a Sunday service. We’d bless offerings, communion, dedications and baptisms, and offer a benediction at the end of the service. Growing up we also blessed meals before we ate. When I came to the field, I was a relatively young woman. As time went by, I became a less young woman in an organization with many fine young people. I was one of the few people who got to visit and see them in person. Not their parents or pastors or friends. Without using the language, they looked to me to “bless” them and I grew to understand the power of someone physically present and therefore, the power of a blessing. Over time, I have become a blesser.
2. I’m a words of affirmation person so blessings are powerful to me. I’m wondering how your love language influences your view of blessings. I’m guessing we’re all for blessings! But, let’s say you’re a acts of service gal do you see blessings as nice, but not overly powerful for you?
3. Tears rolled when I read about Barbara and her family in the hospital with her dying dad. Eleven months ago with my family, we too gathered around my dad as the reality sunk in; the game was changing. We were no longer needing to decide on a treatment plan but to choose between an option that might prolong his life in agonizing pain for maybe months or stop treatment, allowing for nature to take her course.
As opposed to Barbara’s husband who asked for the blessing, in one of the most holy, honorable, and horrible experiences, we gathered around Dad’s bed and through blessing released him to leave us. It truly was a blessing to us that we could, in all sincerity, affirm his work was done and he could go. He had been a husband, father, son, brother, grandpa and friend we would never forget and always bear his mark on our lives.
I’m sure some of you have had similar experiences whether with family members, dear friends, or even teammates who were called to leave the field. At crucial moments we can display one of the most powerful ways we are made in the Image of God by blessing people and paths, and as Barbara said, even sticks on the ground. I love that blessing can be for the big and the small and the more we practice with the small, we are ready for the big.
What parts stood out to you? What’s your experience with blessing been? Grab a cup and let’s chat. I enjoy these talks, thanks for commenting :),
P.S. Enjoy this week and next week I’ll share the plan for As Soon As I Fell by Kay Bruner
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