Benedictions

Growing up, the pastor would give a benediction at the end of the weekly church service. I didn’t know at the time that is was from Numbers 6:24-26, I just knew it was poetic, encouraging and felt a lot like a blessing. All these years later, I realize that is exactly what it was, a blessing.

Scripture contains blessings spoken over Jacob, Abraham, Jesus, and so on. Each one was to encourage, celebrate, and remind the listeners that the person being blessed had a purpose and a mission for God’s kingdom.

Today my husband and I dropped off our oldest son at college. He is an incoming freshman and for the first time, he will be out of reach if these is an emergency or even to give a good night hug. I am happy for him and this new adventure, but I also feel the sense of loss.

Over the weeks leading up to today, I have been remembering different things and praying for him to know, truly know, how much he is loved. My mom wrote him a letter full of memories and ended it with a prayer for him as well.

Each time, our desire is to pray over him for God’s protection and direction, but also for my son to hear the words that he is precious and prized and valued and loved and treasured above all things.

Today as we drove away, I sent him a long text to tell him all the things I wanted him to remember. I sent it as a text so he could read it as often as he needed to during this year. Plus, since it’s on his phone, it means he will have it with him all the time.

Dear Ones, who do you know who needs to be spoken over, prayed over, and blessed? Is it a child off to school for the first time? A young woman or man stepping out on their own? Is it someone who just needs to be reminded how much he or she is loved?

Don’t hold back the words. Say them. Write them. Sing them. Whatever is necessary to get those words to the ear and eyes that need them. Too many of us have stood at the gravesite of a loved one and wished for one more conversation. Don’t wait.

Give the benediction, the blessing, and say amen. The person who hears it will be grateful and so will you.

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About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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