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A Birthday Greeting!

The idea of blessing has been in the forefront of my thinking and pondering in these recent days. Blessing as a spiritual practice is offered in many of the sources from which I am learning, even though I don’t quite feel as if I have a competant handle on it yet; it hasn’t been part of my fundamental spiritual vocabulary to date.

Yet, in the birthday season of this year, that seems to continue on, I found myself being offered blessing from a wide swath of sources, some not even imagined or hoped for. Moreover, I was nudged to move my reflections from my being the one who offered a blessing, as so often pastors, even retired ones do, away from how the blessing came, to reflect on my heart’s capacity to welcome the blessings as they came.

I have been trying to activate my own blessing quotient daily, noticing, thanking and counting. Now, I am eager to see what opens my heart to receive them as they come. What “tunes my heart” to receive them?

  • my open spirit, one that regards each blessing, not only with gratitude but with wonder and amazement. Amazing, “the joy as it flies!”
  • my pace–too often because of speed, distraction and myopia, I don’t notice, let alone appreciate the blessings as they come. Moving with deliberation helps me sense much more!
  • my open imagination, unlimited by what has always been or what I have seen heretofore.
  • my spirit of prayer–traveling, perceiving and welcoming what comes with open eyes, hands and heart, a willingness to see what the blessing might mean.
  • my reflective review–taking the time and space to recall, relive, remember what has come to me with gentleness and wisdom, to pick up something I might have missed initially.
  • deep trust–grounding myself in my belief that “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” That wellness often appears in the the different shapes of blessing!

I encountered the woman in my photo on my birthday this year, in another town, on my way to meet friends, right in front of the place we parked the car. I was drawn to the open tray she was holding, amid a cluster of surroundings–an old hollowed out tree, from which new branches were sprouting at the bottom, a bright green succulent with buds that promised blossom, some unlit twinkle lights strung through the old and new growth, a little rust on the sculptured hair. Right in the middle of all that diversity and contrast, she stood with open hands and capacity to receive what the day brought her. I was blessed, and I was reminded how blessings often come as a surprise, and I received the blessing she bestowed as a gift from the One from Whom all blessing flow! A blessed birthday indeed!