November 16, 2018

God Bless You

Today I saw a man on the freeway off ramp with a sign telling people he was an unemployed carpenter and needed help. Last week I had a rather vivid vision of someone who looked like Jesus, and so when I saw the sign about him being a carpenter, I thought back to the image of Jesus, and in a matter of seconds I felt compelled to give this man some money.

I reached into my wallet and pulled out a dollar. When I opened the window and gave him the money, he looked me in the eye and said “God Bless You”. I’m not sure why it touched me like it did, but I was moved. His words and eyes made me feel uncomfortable at the same time I felt embraced. It was a very strange sensation and sounds odd as I write about it.

I say, “”bless you” several times a day. Whether in response to a sneeze, or as a sarcastic comeback to an Internet troll, it is part of my vocabulary. I never say God bless you however. I say his name when I pray, and an occasional “God willing”, but that is about it. I actually need to stop saying God willing because I don’t think God’s will comes into play.

I have a fulfilling and personal relationship with God. I am a believer. I do not however think he has anything to do with what happens here on earth. He doesn’t have control over what humans do, but I believe he watches. He laughs with us, cries with us, comforts us, marvels at what we have done to the earth, and is heartbroken by what we do to each other.

Everyone has a story and I truly wish I had stopped to ask the carpenter what his was. I can assume, or make up one based on his asking for money from strangers, but it would probably be very far from the truth. The simple fact that this man made eye contact with me and asked for God to bless me because of my kindness, tells a much better story.

While shopping yesterday the cashier told me to have a “blessed day”. It was so lovely that it made my day. I left the store smiling and feeling the warmth of her generosity. I appreciate when people offer me blessings. Whether from them or on behalf of God, it matters. It makes me smile and also makes me want to extend the same kindness.

I hope you have a blessed day. I wish for you all that you wish for yourself. Life is sometimes hard, often complicated, occasionally scary, and always a blessing. Be kind. Rather than assume what someone’s story is, ask them. God is watching, and perhaps closer than we think, so be kind because it makes him happy. May God Bless You and may you keep the faith.