Popular culture is full of tunes about blessing. From rapper Big Sean to Rascal Flatts, Celine Dion, Martha and the Vandellas, Irving Berlin and back again, we’ve got the topic covered.
Basically, blessing means to wish well. Sometimes a young person will approach the parents to ask, “Will you give us your blessing?” before popping the question of marriage.
A blessing is often given as a statement of divine favor–a benediction. For example, when his friend embarked upon a new job, John O’Donohue offered: “May the sacredness of your work bring light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.”
Yet the reality of everyday life tells a different story.
Most of us don’t bless people as a way of life. Personally I may be kind or helpful. But I would like to increase my skill of intentionally blessing people.
What if blessings have power to answer contemporary dilemmas, such as increased polarization within our society? As I shopped for gifts during the holiday season, I blessed store clerks, “May you have no angry customers all day” which never failed to cause their eyes to turn from scanning items and to lock on mine as I continued, “Be blessed today.”
In response, one clerk put her hand to her lips and sent a kiss to me. Another stopped for a few seconds of stunned silence as her eyes danced and she said, “I receive that!” The power of a blessing lies in a heartfelt wish for the person’s happiness and comfort. This stands in stark contrast to the negative, even hostile, words rising in society.
A blog series–a challenge to bless
Over the next several blog posts I invite you to explore with me some ways to practice how to bless others for their well-being and success. As always, the posts will be child-centered and spiritually oriented.
Blessings flow from the heart, not from a cognitive formula. Every new experience increases our skill in understanding how and when to wish the best for others.
May these words of hope and love bring out the best in you in 2017, as you seek to bless those who need it the most.
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