this is the sixth post in an eight-week series on the Way of Love
turn. learn. pray. worship. bless. go. rest.
Sharing Our Stories
These are the key words that are used on the Episcopal Church website under the section for “bless” in the Way of Love. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love/bless
When was the last time that you were blessed?
When was the last time that you gave a blessing?
Just this week, during our Bishop out of the Box event in Williamsport, a team of 6 of us walked through the city stopping to offer prayers with people in public places- the park, the bus station, on the street, in shops, at the hospital waiting room. A prayer is a particular kind of blessing; it invites the other person into an intimate space of relationship with God – and you- and makes everyone in the mix pretty vulnerable. On our prayer walk, we prayed with lots of people, but one sticks out to me: it was a woman in the hospital waiting area who turned me down, at first, when I offered to pray with her. I had approached her and told her that a group of us were out offering prayers that day, and would she like one? She said, “no thank you, I am waiting for a ride.” I backed right up, and said “ok.” And then, she said, so quietly that I could barely hear her, “But, yes. If you would.” I stepped closer and we had a short moment. I didn’t ask too many questions- she was clearly uncomfortable, but she also wanted the blessing of a shared moment of prayer. And so we prayed. Heads close, and very quietly, in the big, mostly empty, airy room with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. We shut our eyes to make that space seem small, and in voices that only we (and God) could hear, we had our prayerful moment. When we were done, she quietly thanked me, and walked outside. We had lots of other prayers that day, but this one stuck with me: quiet, intense, yearning, devout, grateful.
We say that God gives us gifts to share with the world. That is our blessing to offer.
Sometimes, it’s not a gift per se that we offer, but just a willingness to stand in the breach wth another human being and be, standing together, before God.
How will you be a blessing to someone today?
How will you open yourself to receive the gift of another?