“Every day is a blessing.”
The woman at the cash register took me completely off guard with this comment as I gathered up my purchases and made my way to the door. It was not a platitude that she was offering me by tossing out this phrase. Instead, there was more to it. There was sincerity and deep sense of compassion evident by her direct stare into my eyes accompanied with a soft understanding smile that declared undeniable truth.
It took just an instant, but within that time of turning around and looking at her I realized that she had just offered me and incredible gift that seemed to take a lifetime to unwrap. Awe overtook me at that moment; awe mixed with a certain sense of reality twinkled with faith, hope, peace and love. A strange emotional mix but each singularly present and intertwined to make the moment epiphanal. I felt joy and relief. I felt grace and truth but as I turned around to face the world I felt sorrow. For you see, in turning around I faced another hard real truth; every day is a blessing but why do we have such a hard time accepting it?
I could not answer the question as I climbed into my car. I thought there is such suffering, how can anyone see a blessing when they suffer? There is anger and violence. People are rude and unforgiving. Children are abused, people are scared, the world is alit with such pain that to even be bold enough to proclaim a blessing takes real moxie. But yet, moxie was not what was offered to me by the attendant, it was truth.
It was then…
Later that night I was driving home after a rather rough meeting. It was one of those where people were proclaiming dissatisfaction and grumbling about sharing resources. “Why should we share it with those people?” was a comment made. Those people being gen-Xer’s and Millennial’s that have gravitated towards a drug induced lifestyle. My heart was silently breaking as I heard the people at the meeting did not want to share grace and offer a possible safe haven for people living on the edge.
Driving home in the dark I felt tired and disappointment by hearing such a different reality of people not wanting to help. Offering a blessing was the hope for those people but it seemed as if that was not going to happen at this time. The world felt heavy to me. My head, shoulders, arms and legs felt suppressed and while this was happening the car was going slower and slower. Not because of mechanical reasons but because I was filled with disappointment.
The road I traveled became hillier as I plodded along not really concerned about my speed or anything else. It was at the apex of the road when things changed and I was brought back into the very moment. It was a no-passing zone but it did not seem to matter to the guy on the other side of the road at that moment. He was going to pass another and not be concerned about oncoming traffic. I was pretty sure he did not even know I was even coming towards him. At that moment it dawned on me, if I was going any faster I would be no more for this world. With moments to spare the other car maneuvered back into the other lane and it was then that I realized I was blessed this day.
A gas station attendant, a long hard meeting, a deep and heavy heart, certainly not a combination that makes for a typical blessing but there in the midst of it the night it came anyway.
Every day is a blessing it just sometimes takes a minute after for us to realize it.