He felt so blessed....
With his long salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a pony tail, the man, who appeared to be in his 50’s, was almost in tears. A handyman for high end properties, he explained he had told his boss he probably wouldn’t be back at work on time to finish his jobs that day. Rhonda and I were at the Optometrist’s office and they were running an hour and a half behind their scheduled appointments. We were in the waiting room with two fellows. After one of them left for his appointment, the other began to talk to us.
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Roger began telling us about himself. He said he was supposed to be blind because he had been shot in the eye. Roger explained that he was only about a hundred yards from the shooter and still had numerous pieces of birdshot in his body. When he woke up in the hospital, he couldn’t see and the staff started to prepare him for a lifetime of blindness. He prayed. One morning, he awoke and could see some light. Eventually, his vision returned. Although he and his doctors have removed most of the birdshot, he still has some in one eye, his hands, and all over his body. He said he felt blessed.
Then we learned he almost died from liver failure. He was on a list for a liver transplant but by taking twice the recommended dose of milk thistle, his liver healed and they took him off the list. He stopped drinking and said he felt blessed.
We learned he lost his daughter due to cancer. He took care of her while she was sick and she lived eight years longer than the doctors said she would. He felt blessed for the extra time he had with her.
Roger told us how he lost one of his sons who loved to race cars. Some of the other racers ran his son off the road and he died. They went to prison. Again, Roger said he felt blessed.
As he told us each story, he would wipe his face and eyes, saying he was going to cry. I told him of course. We understood. Such sorrow. Such tragedy for one man’s life. Any one of these would be enough to turn a person bitter. Not Roger. He kept saying he felt so blessed.
When the Optometrist came and took Roger away for his appointment, I knew I would never see him again. I was so filled with compassion for him, it was difficult for me not to cry and I was glad to be called in for my eye exam. I’ve thought about Roger every day.
I’ve thought how many people I see who look like ordinary people, like you and me, and I have no way of knowing what sort of challenges and sorrows they have had in their lives. We don’t know other people’s stories. Everyone has at least one story. How many of us can say we end the telling of our stories by saying, “I am blessed.”
One of my favorite things to do is silently bless people. Like the well-known metaphysical minister and teacher Catherine Ponder, I like to say silently, “I bless you! I bless you! I bless you for the goodness of God that is within you.” After meeting Roger, I love doing this even more. He knew he was and is blessed. How many other people turn their dramas into bitterness, anger, and revenge. I like to think that my silent blessings might help change the energy around these people so they might be able to harvest the blessings life is waiting to give them.
In the early morning hours as I sit at my desk, I see people from my neighborhood leaving for work. They have to drive past our house on their way to the main road. I bless each of them as they pass and wish them a happy day. I don’t know any of these people. I hope that the blessings and angels I send their way help them to feel blessed no matter what tragedies or sorrows they might have had or are having in their lives.
I invite you to join me and others in blessing everyone whether you know them or not, whether you think they are “good” people or not. You can even bless people you see on television or in the news. You never know when your blessings might make all the difference in their lives. One of them could be another Roger whose heart is breaking from the loss of a child, their own illness, or some other misfortune. Your blessing might be the thing that helps them move forward with grace and ease.
Living with grace and ease,