|"After the Rain",|
oil, by Jane Hunt
An old church hymn asks for "a grateful heart that loves and blesses all", and this morning I’m giving some thought to the word "all". The hymn doesn't say "blesses some", or "blesses the good things that happen", or "blesses people who act the way I think they should act". It says "all", as in everything that happens, everything that comes my way – the pleasant and the unpleasant, the advantageous and the seemingly useless, the triumphs and the trouncings. Every aspect of my life, the hymn suggests, should be earnestly set apart and somehow honored. I should, in some way or other, bless everything that happens. As Shakespeare reminds us, blessings (he uses the word “mercy”) should not be "strained", but should be shared the way "the gentle rain of heaven" falls upon the earth -- indiscriminately, unconditionally, thoroughly. Rain falls on the beautiful and the bad, and the beautiful, and so should my blessings.