Tell the truth. How many times a day do you say “Bless your heart?” Extra points if you’re not from the south…..because we use it, abuse it and wear it the heck out. We use it sarcastically, sympathetically and sometimes when we don’t know what else to say…
- “Bless her heart, that dress was too dang tight!”
- “She tries too hard, bless her heart”
- “Bless his heart, his wife keeps him hoppin’ and his dog died last week”
- “Bless your heart, how can I help?”
- “Bless your heart, I’m so sorry”
- “Bless your heart, I’m praying for you
It just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? It surely does mine. Which brings me to my issue.
Bless, Blessing, Blessed.
I have used the phrase “I’m so blessed” many times…thousands of times…almost boastfully.
Usually I’m speaking of my family, my friends…….you know the drill. But how hurtful is it to other folks who many not feel the same? How do I shout to the world what a blessing it is to have grandchildren to someone who doesn’t have them? How do I say how blessed I am to have wonderful friends to one who feels alone? How hurtful is it to declare how blessed I am to be surviving when someone listening has just lost a loved one? Or someone embroiled in a health issue of their own…. or fighting to just keep their heads above water.
When I declare my blessing am I trying to thank God but instead causing someone (most likely a much better person and Christian than me) to question why their blessing isn’t the same? When the tornado blows my neighbor’s house away and mine is left standing, do I tell the world that God blessed me and protected me? Sorry neighbor, guess he forgot about you…..yeah… that’s always a good word isn’t it? If you know me very well you understand that I spend WAY TOO MUCH time in my head. The question of a blessing is one which I can’t ignore. In fact I cringe when folks flippantly expound how God has blessed our country above all others and we are the his chosen. Really? Has almighty God decided to NOT bless other countries?
He did create the world right?
I guess I’m crazy enough to believe God loves us all the same, no matter the circumstances of our birth. Do you really believe God’s blessing is ours alone and not the starving babies in Africa or the Haitian refugees trying to flee a country torn apart by earthquakes, hurricanes and a corrupt government?
How does this work exactly?
Before you quit reading and assume I’m some sort of heretic, please know that I’m a believer. But I’m also a questioner. Call me crazy but I’m pretty sure that God is big enough to handle my questions…..and after all, it’s GOD so he/she knows what we’re thinking anyway! Can’t fake it kids. Recently my beloved Sunday School class studied Matthew 5:3-12. Yes, the well known Beatitudes. Words we’ve all heard and studied our whole lives…but this time my ears heard it differently. Those blessings were not of health or wealth or THINGS… Take a minute and read these verses again!!! ……Read them with fresh eyes! WHAT ARE OUR TRUE BLESSINGS?
I am SO NOT a theologian (as I’m sure you have already ascertained ha)…
But Here’s what I did NOT hear as I read those blessings
- The promise of wealth
- The promise of health
- The promise we won’t be poor in spirit
- That we won’t mourn
- That we won’t feel meek
- That we won’t search or question (like me….ha)
- That we shouldn’t strive to be merciful and be peacemakers (convicting much?)
Bless your heart
Will I continue to thank the Lord for my life and all that I have? Surely. Every hour of every day. Will I still say “bless your heart”….. ALL THE TIME…. But, will I conflate every good fortune with true blessings from God? I hope not….. but at the very least I’ll think before I speak. I’ll be more cautious and careful with my words….. especially with those who are hurting or wondering why their hopes and dreams aren’t coming to fruition.
AND….. I’ll try to remember our true blessing is being a child of the King.
Bless your heart.