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“I don’t know if you know that”, my friend whispered in my ear as we embraced. And then she whispered what I didn’t know. Her words of encouragement and affirmation poured into my soul like a gentle rain in a dry and dusty place, and I felt refreshed.

***

How quick we are to speak words of judgment and criticism over another. We destroy others with ease, but are so slow to build up, if we even bother to take the time.

We bless people and we curse them by the way we speak to them or treat them. Sometimes we use words.

We can curse someone with a raised eyebrow or an eye-roll. We can curse someone with a shrugged shoulder, or that slight delay before replying, “Of course I love you.” The more comfortable we are with someone, the more subtly and cruelly we can curse them. And sometimes we take great delight in it.

Dallas Willard says that the reason we are all so sensitive is because our souls were made to be blessed; we can’t survive without them. But blessing someone, by pausing to listen, smiling or offering a kind word requires time and effort. When did we become too important to make it?

Sometimes we have to grab on to someone to get them to hold still long enough to receive it. And receiving a blessing can be as much an art as giving one.

***

My friend and her family are moving away. She has been such a blessing to me over the past 5 years (I mean, we ran in Mud Hero together – is there any better way to bond?)  We have gone shopping and shared gluten-free goodies together. We have laughed from our toes and cried together with broken hearts. She is a gift!

Yesterday, she grabbed me and held me long enough to receive her blessing. Her few words from her heart to mine, things I didn’t know, was a benediction, and I will be forever thankful for it.

***

Do me a favour? Take time this week to speak a blessing over someone else. Tell them how they encourage you or share a special memory you have of them, with them. It can be a passing comment or a heart-to-heart sob-fest. Humour permitted!  Happy Monday!

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