I am usually cautious when we begin talking about our blessings.
The home in which we live.
The food we have to eat.
The opportunities we have for work and travel and recreation.
The good health we enjoy.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for gratitude.
I am all for pausing long enough not to take any of these things, or a hundred other things I could list, for granted. But I think there is a shadow side to the way we think and talk aboutblessings.
If we do not have a place to live…
If we struggle to have enough food to eat…
If we are out of work…
If our health is not good…
Are we then not blessed?
Less than good?
Something wrong with us?
But yesterday, in a passing remark about blessings, I heard a turn of a phrase which caught my attention. “Do we count our blessings or count the ways we can be a blessing?”
I like that.
Count the ways we can be a blessing.
That feels a whole lot better to me.
A whole lot more human.
A whole lot more holy.

Daily Reminders

Most days are filled with the ordinary details of our lives.
Grocery shopping.
Washing clothes.
Going to work.
Helping children with homework.
Running errands.
Responding to emails.
The trick it seems to me…
And the challenge…
Is to allow the wonder hidden in the ordinary to break through the routine
And to catch our attention.
The smile of a child.
The taste of food.
The opportunity to work.
The day-in, day-out support and love of those who care about us.
Because it is the ordinary days that add up to our lifetime.

It Takes A Village

The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
I believe that it does.
Our children need all of the strong, caring, compassionate adults we can stack around their lives, but if we stop there we have stopped well short of the mark.
Not only does it take a village to raise a child…
It takes a village to care for those who grow old in our midst.
It takes a village to welcome and to include the newcomers.
It takes a village to care for the fragile and vulnerable among us.
It takes a village to help couples find their way through the challenges of life.
It takes a village to dance in our moments of joy.
It takes a village to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in times of need holding us up when we can not stand up on our own.
By and large, I think we have forgotten this and we are paying the price.
Our sense of community…
Our sense of responsibility towards one another…
Our sense of caring for one another…
Has been pushed it aside in favor of the myth of rugged individualism.
That I can do it all on my own.
That I am responsible for myself and for no one else.
That my own strength and willpower and hard work is enough.
But none of that is true.
It just is not.