My friend Tigist is a smart young lady- and a natural philosopher.
She may be a third grader, but when I read the words in the artwork she gave me, she speaks with the voice of someone who’s been around the block a few times. A grandma, maybe, who understands life. “Nothing’s perfect in the world,” she says, and I can see her in a rocking chair, pulling a grandbaby onto her lap with a sigh and fingering her hair.
Today the baby is me.
Thank you, Tigist. I think you’re so right.
Nothing is perfect in the world. Maybe that’s part of why we’re here, to look for God in the nooks and crannies of this imperfect place. To be God’s kingdom in the middle of the trash heap of pain and beauty and suffering and joy. To share the ripped, tattered bits of love we dig out of it with each other. To cheer each other on as we swim through the muck and majesty of each day- sometimes pulling each other through, sometimes calling time out to clear the path and pry open doors. To be a blessing to each other.
On Sunday morning, while I was away in Chicago, gawking at dinosaur bones and jaw dropping taxidermy at the Field Museum, our children celebrated the story of the baptism of Jesus. Their teachers shared with them that after John pulled Jesus out of the water, God and the Holy Spirit gave Jesus a blessing. Then they asked the children about their own experience with blessings- what a blessing is, and how it feels to be given one. Everyone agreed that a blessing was a gift and that God gives us lots of them. But as I read their responses, one statement in particular caught my eye. A first grader said, “Blessings make you feel the way you are supposed to feel.”
Blessings make you feel the way you are supposed to feel.
Blessings make you feel the way you are supposed to feel. Perhaps blessings make us feel the way God designed for us to feel- hoped for us to feel- in this trash heap of pain and beauty and suffering and joy. God equips us with the emotional intelligence (some more than others) to be blessings to each other. To bring God to each other, to pull God into our huddles down here on earth. To use our hearts and brains to find ways to make things better with God in this imperfect world.
I’m so thankful that I have these philosopher children to guide me.
May God’s blessings fall all over you, friends!