This week I was feeling down when I received a call from an old friend who I admire. As she spoke she said words of affirmation and blessing. My spirits lifted and I felt encouraged. It reminded me that “blessing” is a gift we can give each other, but often forget about. So, I’m re-posting one of my most popular blogs!
I’ve been pondering the idea of blessing. To bless: to honor or to invoke divine favor upon. Why is receiving a “blessing” from someone you look up to so significant?
Many years ago, a young couple we had worked with as college students, invited my husband David and me to their going-away party. They were taking their children and moving to a different state. They had been student leaders under our care ten years before and had actually met and married in our organization. They were fantastic student leaders, but over the years we had lost contact with them.
Then, we were invited to their going-away party. At the end of the party, everyone gathered around to pray over them. Their pastor prayed, their friends prayed and then it was our turn. When we stepped up, placed our hands on their shoulders, and began to pray, they both started weeping. My husband and I looked at each other in shock. Why did our blessing mean so much to them?
After we left the party we talked about it and decided we should do more of this! For some reason our blessing is powerful to others. We should be aware of it and give it out more freely.
Since then we have given blessings to people as often as we can. One particularly powerful blessing is to stand in the place of a mother or father who has, for whatever reason, been unable to bless their child well. We stand in proxy and pray a parent’s blessing over them. This kind of blessing seems to fill in deep holes left by a parent, and is often received with tears and great healing.
Think about it, if someone you admired and respected, put a hand on your shoulder and sincerely said, “Hey, I think you are doing a great job and are growing into an amazing person,” how would it feel? Our words are powerful; we can bless or we can curse.
We can bless formally as in prayer, or informally, as in a kind affirmation. But, a blessing is most powerful when it comes from a person you admire or who holds authority over you. Blessings don’t have to be in person either. A written blessing can be read and reread over time.
So, take a minute to think about your life. Is there someone who could really use a blessing from you today: child, a friend, or a co-worker? How will you use your power and influence to bless?