The Power of a Blessing

November 6, 2012

A few years ago, I made up a night-time blessing song that I sing to my kids. I like for it to be the last thing they hear from me for the night. It is a variation of Psalm 23.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and Holy Spirit,
I give you to the Good Shepherd
To sleep in His green pasture
Beside the still waters
Where He satisfies and restores
Your soul while you sleep
Alleluia, Amen.

When singing the opening line invoking the Trinity, I trace a cross on their foreheads  I have consistently been amazed and blessed back as they respond by tracing one on my forehead and joining me in singing the blessing as I sing to them. What began as my blessing them has turned into a blessing for both of us. I have been surprised by how long this blessing has remained ‘alive’ to them. There are still times when my teenager will let me bless him and sometimes he startles me with coming and blessing me first.

Something that we didn’t expect but that has become endearing to us about this blessing is that it contains the word Alleluia in it. At our church, Abbey Way Covenant, we ‘bury’ our Alleluias during Lent. That means that we stop using the word all through Lent until it ‘rises’ again at our Easter morning service. Because we do this blessing so much, we noticed how hard it was to stop using ‘Alleluia.’ We began to even ‘groan’ in very small ways because we had to make an effort to stay present to the song and make sure we did not say it. By the time Lent is over we have formed the new habit of not singing the word. We just silently leave it out and then finish by singing ‘Amen’ at the proper time (like the song B-I-N-G-O). When Lent has passed and Easter has come, we find ourselves in the silly position of remembering to put the ‘Alleluia’ back in. It is a very simple instance of the power of a concentrated season of intent and the possibilities that it might hold in our lives.

Well. Today I received a fresh surprise around our blessing song. Zion asked if she could make a video on my phone. After saying she could, she promptly took it and herself off and I didn’t see her for awhile. About a half-hour later she came back and showed me this:

I understand, just a little, what I have heard musicians tell about feeling like their songs take on a life of their own after they share them. I am enjoying watching the powerful little life this song has in our family.