“I will bless the Lord at all times; God’s praise will always be in my mouth.” — Psalm 34:1
I was out visiting one of you the other day, as we were sitting drinking lemonade this bird dropped into the bird bath. Shaking and flipping water. Wiggling and just enjoying the feel of the water all over. Watching the bird dance in the water brought a smile to our faces and joy into our hearts. In that moment, as the bird bathed I couldn’t help but say (ok only in my head, for who wants the pastor to break out into poetry):
bless to me the bird
bless to me the water
bless to me the joy of bathing
bless to me the beauty of a garden
bless to me the soft patter of the rain drops
bless to me the simple moment out of time
bless to me the simple pleasures of sharing a lemonade with friends
bless to me God who made this moment holy
I have started trying to say these prayers as I am stuck in the moment. These are times when I am deeply present to what is happening. I truly see what is before me and am not rushing to think about the next thing I need to do or worrying about that which I have yet to accomplish. Instead, I take a breath and say bless to me.
Beth Richardson, in her book, Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me, teaches this practices of writing “bless to me” prayers. The prayer focuses on a tool, item, or activity and expresses gratitude for that moment. You celebrate the object and activity and the way it connects us to the present moment. With these prayers we rest in the presence of the holy in our ordinary life and activities. So if you are washing the dishes, walking the dog, sharing a meal, laughing with friends, picking weeds, fixing a car…… You pause and bless the moment.Do you long to feel God’s presence in your daily life? This summer we will spend our worship and study time becoming aware of God’s presence in all the moments of your life — from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. Hopefully you to will have that moment while with other you want to break out into a bless to me prayer.