I am trying to imagine the scene from a different perspective – as if I were another person across the room watching me as tears splashed on my Kindle and I patted my own head. Makes me giggle to think about it. The chair in the photo above is where I was sitting when it happened.
Towards the end of his book, Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr tells a story from his time in the Philippines, celebrating Sunday Mass in a squatters’ camp. Here is part of his description:
“I don’t know who trained them to do this, but you constantly feel your hand taken by the little Filipino children. They take your hand and put it to their head. They don’t ask you to bless them. They take it from you. It made me weep. For they have their souls yet! They have light, they have hope.”
Sometimes even big things are stealthy enough to sneak in through our heart’s backdoor and catch us unawares. When I read that passage, I was completely undone – sobbing and laughing all at once. I visualized these children in the midst of dire poverty, taking their blessing because it was theirs to take. It opened up a chasm right down the middle of my heart and flooded it with my own tears and longings and regrets and hopes and dreams.
Without thinking (thank goodness), I reached out my own hand, put it on top of my head, and I blessed myself – yep, spoke a big, bold blessing right out loud over my very own person. I said something like this:
Bless you, dear one, for you are forgiven all, and you are loved deeper than you could ever comprehend. You are a daughter of the King – the One who made this entire Universe from scratch. There were times in the past when you were lost in the darkness, but your identity does not lie there. You are named Alyson, which means “truthful one”, and that was no accident. May you love and grow, suffer and create right alongside your father God, who made you uniquely you. May you taste the fullness of His JOY.
I know, I know, I KNOW that I cannot properly love and forgive other humans if I cannot find love and forgiveness for myself. There are battles yet to be fought on that front, but I made some serious headway that night. I have light – and I have hope!
Have you ever had such a moment? If not, I kindly suggest that you give it a try.