Living as a blessing

Every Wednesday, I meet with a handful of my closest friends for breakfast at Pamela's Diner. First of all, the pancakes are amazing! But more than that, this is a time for us to gather together as friends and occasionally hold each other accountable in certain areas, but more often just enjoy each other's company.

This week, as we were getting ready to leave, we were introduced via our waitress (Edy, probably the coolest gal on the planet) to Father Joe, the priest from right next door. Father Joe was the kind of guy you knew you liked from the moment you laid eyes on him. He was at his core a story-teller, as though these stories that he has collected over the years are far too cramped in his heart, and he must get them out to whoever will hear them. He told us about parishioners he has, some who have experienced miracles, some who just had their own great stories to share. It was quite wonderful!

At the end of our time together, Father Joe asked if he could give us a blessing. I grew up in a Catholic background, so I understood the significance of this. A blessing from a priest is a big deal. And so I bowed my head down and listened quietly as he blessed us, and through us our ministries.

I've been thinking about it all day yesterday and today, how much it meant to me to be blessed by this stranger. And I also started thinking about the typical Presbyterian language that we believe in a "priesthood of all believers," that actually you and I are called to the ministry of reconciliation within ourselves. And so I've been toying around with a few thoughts. What does it look like for you and I to offer blessings to other people? When I'm speaking to a person, whether it's a dear friend or a random stranger, are they blessed by my words and actions? When I'm working with students, are they blessed by our youth ministry? What does it look like to live as a blessing to other people?

I don't know if I have the answer yet. I don't know if I have it all sorted out. But I'm pretty sure that simply living with the question on the top of your mind would lead to results. How can I be a blessing to this person? In this time? In this situation? If we follow hard after this idea, the world would be a significantly more Christ-like place.