Last week, I got home from a busy day of board meetings to discover that my painting from Andrea had arrived in the mail. Ahhhh. What a refreshing touch of magic in an otherwise long and draining day! I was blessed. By colour, wonder, friendship, creativity, and connection. I’d already received blessings by visiting Andrea’s blog, so this was a further blessing of her personal giftedness with a paintbrush. She can paint better than I could dream of painting. Now that it’s hanging on my wall, I let her art inspire the art in me. Thank you Andrea.
Last night, after another busy day at work, I arrived home to discover two more blessings had arrived in the mail. What fun! Nowadays, too much of the mail that arrives at our house is either junk mail (will the Christmas flyers NEVER stop?) or bills, so it’s a rare treat to receive something personal.
The first blessing was a Christmas card from Vicki and her family. She has a beautiful family – just the kind of people who look warm and comfortable and open. I think our family could spend a fun Saturday afternoon hanging out with their family, if the distance between us were less. I have been blessed by Vicki through her card, her blog, her emails, and her visits to my blog. Thank you Vicki.
The second blessing I received in the mail yesterday was a beautiful little blessing book from Jen Lemen. Something had touched her heart, and made her think of me. Instead of letting the feeling pass without lending it energy, she created a blessing book especially for me. Her words touched a special place in me that was open to her blessing. “You are being held in perfect love even now.” “Your strengths are a gift. Your talents are a blessing. Use them now to bring light where there was darkness, hope where fear once reigned.” I am grateful that she was open to the nudging of her muse and that she took the time to reach out to me. If you read her blog, you’ll soon realize that Jen has an uncanny ability to recognize the need in other people, speak directly to their hearts, and breathe words of wisdom and comfort into the dark or lonely spaces. Thanks Jen.
All of these little blessings in the last week have made me contemplate how I’m living out the call that I, like everyone else, have to share my giftedness by showering blessings on other people. Because I believe, deep in my heart, that all of us are meant to reach out and touch each other. We are all gifted with something – the ability to make art, the gift of encouragement, the wisdom to offer good counsel, the strength to challenge systems that hurt people, the ability to teach, the courage to stand up for marginalized people, the gift of humour to lift people up, the compassion to know when someone needs help, the ability to communicate so that other people feel less alone – and these things are meant to be shared.
Sometimes, we take these gifts for granted. We underestimate our own power to touch other people. We think our gift is not worthy, or we assume that someone else could do it better. We feel the nudging to share the blessing of our giftedness, and instead of taking action, we brush it off because it feels like too much of a risk. We deprive each other of the opportunity to be blessed because we limit ourselves by our pride or low self-esteem. Sometimes it’s because we’ve been hurt and we don’t want to risk getting hurt again. Sometimes it’s because we haven’t been raised to believe in our own worthiness. Sometimes we’ve told ourselves so often that our giftedness is without value that we start to believe it.
I am so glad that Jen, Vicki, and Andrea took the risks to send little pieces of themselves to me. I’m so glad they didn’t let the little voices of doubt stop them from blessing me.
I wish that I could say that I always follow up on the opportunities and inspirations I have to offer blessings. I don’t. I have lots of good intentions, but I let them pass with the wind. I hope though, that even though I don’t always get things in the mail (this year’s Christmas cards, for example) I have offered some blessing to you through the words I write on this blog. Because that is one giftedness that, after nearly 40 years of telling myself I’m not really good enough, I’m willing to own. I may not be able to paint, but I can write. And this is my covenant to you, dear reader, I will continue to share this gift with you, and I hope that you will be blessed.
And, here’s another offering of blessing… I have a few days of down time in Ethiopia next month. I’m willing to share a little blessing of Africa with you. If you will send me your mailing address (my email address can be found in my profile), I will take the time to hunt down some postcards and send one to everyone who takes the risk to ask for one. It’s possible that I won’t find postage until I return to familiar soil, but I will commit to getting them out sometime in January.
I know how much I have been blessed by the gifts in my mail. Now please offer me the opportunity to bless you.