"A blessing is a short meditative exercise in which a person focuses on the goodness of something in a way that it creates an opening for God." This weekend, two of my favorite grad school friends came to our house and we lit the candles on the menorah for the fourth day of Hannukah. Though our religious views may vary, it was a blessing. All of us experienced God's presence, though the three of us were Jewish, Congregationalist and Unitarian.
On Sunday night, we were again visited by Cathy Crooks, our dear minister, whose presence is such a balm to the two of us. At the end of our meeting, we held hands and she prayed about the goodness of many things in our life...the gentle caring of the "little white dogs," the healing nature of the act of breathing, and our community of loving friends who were bringing us food. We each felt very blessed to be in this sacred space and feel the goodness of God.
This week we will visit dear friends who practice an Eastern traditions. Their home is a center of calm and I know I will experience a sense of peace when we are with them. God is certainly present in the goodness of the lives of Susan and Gary. We will meditate together and when we will practice times of silence in our own home, we will think of them. It will be a blessing.
At our neighbor's home, we sang the Johnny Appleseed grace with our grown children this weekend, as we have done for thirty years. Each one tries to sing louder than the next. I hope God knows this cacophany is a blessing. I think he does and maybe He is laughing.
We ask you to bless us, in your own way, as we go visit another set of doctors at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California. Cathy prayed that we ask for help to open that door with the doctors, the clerical staff, the secretaries, the radiology technicians so that this can be a time of blessing for Jud. Help us open the doors for God to slip in.
"When we offer up blessings, we raise up sparks of holiness, releasing the God-light housed in our world back to its Source. We receivers become givers and the nurturing flow is sustained."
The circle comes around. Thus, we also, will be blessing you.
(Thanks to the work of Julie Neraas and Cathy Crooks. Quotations are from"Apprenticed to Hope" by Julie Neraas.)