“It was a blessing!” I’ve heard those words about many different events in the past, but never really thought about them until the Retreat I attended in April. Now I’m really conscious of the understanding that should go with those words.
According to the dictionary, a blessing is “help believed to come from God or another deity.” And the second meaning is “a ceremony in which an ordained person invokes or bestows divine help.”
Blessing is found throughout scripture as an act that has significant meaning for the one blessed as well as the people around him or her. And we are invited to bless God with our words and our very lives.
And in the midst of wrestling with the word blessing, came word of the bombing in Boston. How do we honestly confront our emotions and sense of sadness and still claim that we are a blessed people?
In the aftermath of 9/11, I remember feeling overwhelmed with grief and seeking to find some answers. The answers were not easy to find – except in silence and prayer. I spent days visiting folks to give them a word of hope. And in my personal time I spent hours seeking that word of hope.
But the psalmist says to us that we can be blessed if we take refuge in God. That’s not saying that all our lives will be “peaches and light.” We will still have troubles and disasters and illness and death. But we can find the warmth of God’s blessing when we take refuge in our God.
It’s a challenge! But it can happen. Sometimes there are no words and so we just stand in God’s presence and wait. And then, the scripture says, we will be blessed.