Blessing: Day 18 / by Jeff Tacklind

“What is a blessing? Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. It isn’t just words. It’s the actual putting forth of your will for the good of another person. It always involves God, because when you will the good of another person, you realize only God is capable of bringing that. So we naturally say, ‘God bless you.’” Dallas Willard

This last Sunday we did a baby dedication for Kaia.  This is one of my most favorite things to do as a pastor.  But it isn’t something I do alone.  We do it.  As a church we bless this little child with our whole hearts.  We bless her with all the goodness of God we can put forth.

Because there is nothing like the purity and sweetness of a little child to tap into the deep reserves of our compassion.  Our hearts are stirred.  A baby is so delightful and beautiful, and we can’t help ourselves.  It draws out the very best in us and overflows out of us through every pore.

The last couple times I’ve done a dedication, I’ve carried the child out into the midst of the church.  And as I have, I’ve been overwhelmed with the powerful effect of all the love being poured out on her from the entire church.  It is overwhelming.  Every face illuminates with this radiant countenance. 

You should see your faces!  Eyes widen.  Grins stretch from ear to ear.  Hands extend with tenderness.

And selfishly, as I hold up Kaia, I get caught up in the wave of blessing that is being showered on her.  And I think to myself, this is what it is all about.  The blessed life is to be a blessing.  To pour out God’s goodness is the gift.  Like conduits.  We give what we receive. 

The goodness of God isn’t something to possess.  It must travel through us. When blessing is retained, it goes bad.  Instead, we steward it.  We give it to those in need.  And as we do, it multiplies.  It grows.  As we pour out God’s blessing with compassion, we experience joy, like a river.

Sometimes I think we make our mission and purpose in life so complicated when it isn’t.  Of course, we may not change the world simply with good vibes.  But it is where we begin.  And it isn’t always as easy as blessing a beautiful little baby girl.  But the more we do it, the more we discover the reality that this is God’s heart towards everyone, and especially the least.  And as we pour out that love more and more, as we start living into the reality that God’s compassion is for everyone, we begin to more easily accept that we, too, are God’s delight.  We too are loved with the love of the good Father. 

So, today, may God bless you and keep you.  May he make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May he lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.

And may you do the same for another.  For someone in need.  For one of the least.