Eulogy

 I’m on an e-mail list for an incredible mentor, Jeff Myers.  He is the founder of an organization called Passing the Baton. For several years, I have been reading his work, listening to his messages and receiving his e-mails.  I am challenged by his words, perspective and direction.  
 
This is his Getting Ready To Lead e-mail,  found in my inbox this morning:
 
A Simple, Surprising Approach to
Being a Blessing to All Nations of the Earth

“What does it mean to be a blessing?” Christians typically stumble over this idea. Either they believe they are being a blessing by avoiding bad actions, or they think that being a blessing means wearing themselves out trying to do good.

To be a blessing is actually an everyday, gritty, real thing. The word “blessing” in Greek comes from two words, Eu=well and Logos=word. Well Word. The word “eu-logos” should sound familiar. It’s the root of the word “eulogy.” A eulogy is the nice speech someone gives at a funeral to say nice things about the deceased.

God’s idea is that we do not wait to say nice things until after someone is dead. Every living person should have an opportunity to hear those words of blessing while they are still alive and can act on what they hear.

But what is a blessing, exactly? The answer is in the very first book of the Bible, in the very first chapter. Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.'”

God’s blessing released Adam and Eve to do what they were designed to do.

The blessing is the same for you and me. It is our opportunity to enable others to do what they are designed to do.

There is no pie-in-the-sky, hyper-spirituality here. It’s as simple as asking this question every day: “Are those around me better able to bear God’s image because of the way I bear God’s image?”

Find ways to move toward a “Yes” answer to that question, and you will be well on your way to being a blessing to all nations of the earth (Genesis 12:2-3 and Galatians 3:6-9).

Not long after receiving Jeff’s thoughtful email, I read these words on my Facebook page:
Heather Ristau:  anyone ever tell you you’re a cool girl?
I sat there, laptop resting on my knees, and watched the clear screen turn muddled. It’s so nice to read simple, encouraging words like Heather’s.  I immediately linked your words to Jeff’s and thought about the area that God is again stirring in my heart. 
As I’m cleaning, culling and purging every corner of my home, pulling out things that do not belong to me and organizing that which needs to be put into order, I’m uncovering my stamp table. I haven’t written letters or mailed cards in … many, many months.  I have simply had too much to do to be able to take the time to create.
Did you hear that?  I just wrote that I’ve been too busy to “bless.”  I know that there are other ways to encourage and bless, but crafting cards and penning words on an intimate  page are my personal bestowal.
And so, I am thrilled to be uncovering my table, re-binning my stamp pads, locating scissors that my crafty-girl has strewn throughout the house, putting string/ribbon/wire snippets into containers,   and re-cupping pencils, pens and felt-tips. These are my tools – I need them in place to do what I feel led. 
And so, I wonder … if “blessing” is as simple as speaking a kind word or penning letters to parchment, can you find a way to eulogize someone today … while it still matters …. when they can hear you … while it can make an impact on their life … while it can encourage them? 
I’m always telling my child to “love on people” … even when they’re unkind … when they least deserve it … when it’s most difficult because they ruffle your feathers or bristle the hairs on your neck.  There’s a reason that they behave that way.  They are injured.  They are hurting.  They are abandoned or bruised or wounded.  Because we all have “stuff.”  We’re all hurting.  We’re all broken in need of caressing. 
Who is wounded around you?  Who needs your encouraging word today?  A simple phone call, an email, a card of inspiration or a kind word spoken at the check-out could make someone’s day.  It takes little time and spare energy. Look for opportunities to “bless” … they are all around you.
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4 thoughts on “Eulogy

  1. i am excited about you gettin out your stampin stuff… You do have a gift there and your blog blesses me and speaks to on
    all kinds of levels all the time. I get his emails but I missed
    this one. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Like

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