Bless. A transitive verb – to confer or invoke favor upon. Blessings. A noun – the favors or gifts received. This Easter was a time of genuine blessing for me. I am truly thankful. Like many blessings, mine came gently. So much so that I hardly knew I had been so gifted until I was left holding the grace delicately in my heart.
My friend Pat LaMarche phoned a few days before Easter and asked if I would host her friend Jesse Johnson over Easter weekend while he met with Green-Rainbow Party officials in Massachusetts. I explained to Pat that I wasn’t involved in the current MA GRP squabbles and that I had, in fact, changed my voted registration to unenrolled so that I could support Obama this time around. I know this must have been a bit of a surprise to Pat, but no bother. We arranged for Jesse to stay with us. Jesse stayed with us Saturday night and accompanied us to Easter service at First Church, UU in Leominster and to dinner at Tina’s mom’s house afterwards.
There’s nothing like company to make you appreciate the blessings of home. As I showed Jesse our church, and explained Johnny Appleseed and showed him John Chapman’s birth certificate and he drank in the history of the photos in the church parlor, I was awash in appreciation for my home congregation.
Tina’s family is large, close French-Canadian clan and well, Jesse’s isn’t. At times it’s hard to forget what a gift it is to have such a family. What is close and familiar can all too often be taken for granted. Children and nephews and chaos and singing (Tina’s sister recently bought a new guitar, which prompted the usual sing-along) had started to become so routine that I had begun to miss their magic. This time I saw them through Jesse’s eyes and how much he appreciated being a part of it all. Jesse’s from West Virginia and the only song he sang along to was Country Roads.
I enjoyed a lot of conversation with Jesse over the weekend about the dangers of corporate control of the government, the environment and Thomas Jefferson – I made a gift to him of my copy of the Jefferson Bible, which he read all weekend when time allowed. Yet, the best thing that happened was how he helped me see the blessings I have that always surrounding me – family, friends, and home and church.
May you be blessed with good friends,
And learn to be a good friend yourself,
Journeying to that place in your soul where
There is love, warmth and feeling.
May it change you.