I heard the snippet of an interview on NPR yesterday.The interview was with a gospel writer or someone similar who was describing an interaction he was familar with in his own life. The interaction worked like this: someone asks another person how they are and they respond: "I am blessed and highly favored."
It's a funny phrase, isn't it?
I often tell my children, in exasperation (and perhaps in a shouty voice): "YOU ARE BLESSED," when they are whining about nonsensical things like being bored, having too much to do, having nothing to do, having siblings, needing to shower and everything else under the sun. I don't think it sinks in much, because then they complain about me and being blessed and make all sorts of noises that one would liken to demons.
I am not much better. Despite the horrific things I've endured and the deep trauma I carry with me, I am still petty and limited and nonsensical and sweating the small stuff. If anyone told me when was IN IT, like in the deep state of complaining that can only be so equolently called "it," that I was blessed, I might feel like spitting in their face.
I certainly would not feel blessed and I defnitely would not feel highly favored by anything other than chaos.
Chaos LOVES me.
However, I do fundamentally believe that God loves us all the same. I believe we are all blessed. And I beleive that we are all the highly favored children of God.
But how do I live that way? How do I also treat others in ways in which reflects God's love and favor?
I know, deep questions for a Wednesday.
I don't know the answer to this question.
The world is horrible. Hell, my baby had a brain tumor, of all the horrific things. Horrible things happen. Evil is around every corner. Shit happens constantly. Nothing about it feels like a blessing. If I was so highly favored, why would my sweet brother be dead?
However, I know that I am wrong to believe I am anything but blessed and highly favored. I know this world is not God's world. I know my job is to bring the Kingdom of Heaven closed to our fallen earth. I believe this. But, even with faith, living this is so freaking hard.
But like the conversation I described at the beginning, maybe it is like studying for a test or preparing to act in a play. Maybe, the repetition of "I am blessed and highly favored," makes it a mantra--a reminder to your soul to be who you are; to be a child of God who is blessed, highly favored and loved beyond measure.
Maybe, I just need to say it to myself, even if I don't mean it. Maybe if I say it enough, I will find that truth within myself and someday, truly mean it.