A funny story with an inspiring lesson for hard times.
Posted in , Sep 22, 2020
Many years ago, at the convocation that began my time in divinity school, I heard a sermon that I’ve never forgotten. The preacher shared the story of a woman who was walking along the beach on a cloudy day, lost in thought and enjoying the solitude.
Her reverie was interrupted by the sound of someone shouting just up the beach from where she stood. It was a man, just visible through the mist. His arms wide, he shouted, “Come, blessings!” He turned toward the water, then away from the woman, again shouting, “Come, blessings, come!”
The woman stopped in her tracks, taking in the scene. Her pensive mood deepening, she thought about the pure, direct spiritual appeal she was witnessing. Here was a man, she thought, who had made his way to the quiet, enduring presence of nature to call blessings into his life, to literally shout into the wind for the blessings he yearned for.
She started walking again, hoping to speak to the man and thank him for the much-needed inspiration she had gleaned from his spiritual practice. As she walked, the wind continued to carry his voice. “Come, blessings! Come, blessings, come!” She started to speak the simple, powerful words along with him, feeling buoyed and increasingly freed each time.
Then, just as suddenly as when she first heard him, the man stopped shouting. And just as suddenly as when she first noticed him, the woman stopped walking.
A big, floppy-eared dog bounded joyfully toward the man, seeming to have emerged mystically from the mist. The woman was close enough to the man to hear him, as he tousled the dog’s fur, exclaim, “Blessings! There you are! I thought I had lost you!”
At first the woman felt silly, having confused a dog named Blessings for a profound moment of communion with the divine. But as she continued on her walk, she smiled contentedly. The message she had received, the inspiration to ask clearly and plainly for the goodness, hope, peace and other blessings she yearned for, was real, even if the bearer of the message had four legs and a tail.
Perhaps, she thought, it was not a coincidence that the man had named his dog Blessings. And perhaps the dog had not been lost at all.
How do you call blessings into your life?