Something that we could use more of in our lives is blessing. Speaking blessings to and over one another. Internalizing truths of blessings instead of false messages of hope. Believing blessings for one another. Blessing one another through simple acts of kindness.
Maybe that’s why I appreciate blessings. Anyone can be nice, but it takes genuine effort (and a little sacrifice sometimes) to be kind. To be nice is to toe the line, but to be kind is to revere, honor, and draw out the dignity in another person. Blessings are founded on kindness, truth, and hope. The words examine the crux of being human: that place where both pain and beauty can be appreciated and accepted. Blessings teach, challenge, and encourage, much like a soothing balm for our souls.
In my faith community, we end our church services with a blessing, which is a sacred moment for me. Even if I was distracted during the entire teaching, I somehow quiet down enough to soak in the blessing. I love walking out the door with that little piece of truth, even if I am not ready to accept it or allow it to alter my life in that moment. I wish all churches ended with blessings and did a little more contemplating.
Here is a Franciscan blessing about oppression and social justice that I stumbled across this morning. Words like these help me believe that I can hold true to my personal values while being an excellent social worker; some days I doubt this. Even if you aren’t a social worker, these words might resonate somewhere inside, if you believe in justice, peace, compassion, and restoration. Or if you desire to live fully and empty yourself through your work and service to others. May you be encouraged:
“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
And may the blessing of God, who creates, redeems and sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen.”