My fellow blogger Lisa Rieck found this Franciscan blessing in the book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey. She shared it with me, and I wanted to share it with you. The Franciscans are known best, perhaps, for living simply out of solidarity with those in need. But they also have a way with words that I regularly covet:
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
I like the blessing; it gets you thinking in a way that requires a response. I'm reminded of the words of the less artful Henry Pym, Marvel Comics' "Ant-Man," in the epic miniseries The Kree-Skrull War: "Think! And, having thought, act!"
So, how has God been blessing you lately? With discomfort? With anger? With tears? What do you hope will come of those blessings?
For myself, I'm hoping for an extra shot of foolishness.
Posted by Dave Zimmerman
at January 23, 2007 9:16 AM
This is a great blessing. Thanks for sharing it.
I find myself getting angry and teary when I hear news stories about people suffering injustice, particularly children. I heard a story on NPR about children being abducted in India, the horrible things they go through and how their parents, who are already poor, borrow large sums of money to try and find their kids. I was so angry and I cried all the way home praying for God to do something.
The difficult part is the acting. I have very little idea of what I can do to help. The things I am doing seem so small in comparison to the great need. So I do the little I know to do and keep praying. And hopefully, through prayer others will be helped and my heart will be tuned to opportunities God may provide for me to act.