I weep.as I read this. Love you my brother.
Blessing Your Father, Blessing Your Grandson
We are in a season where people are walking isolated and uncovered. Separated from their community and friends – lonely, in a vulnerable place. Broken parts of their identity exposed.
We are communal creatures. Our community meets needs we can’t address by ourselves. When we see this happening, often it looks like a blessing – the blessing of those who are strong where we are weak.
This begins with our parents raising us when we are utterly vulnerable and eventually moving to a place of independence. I wrote about my struggle to receive my father’s blessing before he died (here) last year. And as a father, 14 years ago I sought to impart that blessing to my own children (here).
Have you ever been blessed by your parents or maybe even blessed them?
Almost exactly a year after my dad (Asa Barnes) died, my grandson Asa Barnes was born. Yesterday we blessed him.
I thought that leading our little family ceremony would be no big deal. But as I stood there and thought about losing my dad and God replacing him with our grandson, I was emotionally ambushed.
And after we sang Kari Jobe’s “The Blessing,” I was really struggling – wiping away the tears, running out of Kleenex.
My father was a leader. And already his great grandson and namesake, Asa Sebastian Barnes, was leading our family:
Leading us to faith in a God who gives good gifts. A God who answers prayer. We prayed for Christina to create life in the face of medical complications and she did.
Leading us to hope by showing us that God is redemptive, taking our losses and giving us new life. Dad’s gone, but we have a fresh reminder of his legacy.
Leading us to love as a community in a season of isolation. We came together to bless him.
1 Cor. 13 tells us that faith, hope and love remain. And Asa shows us that they do indeed remain, even after death.
We gathered as a socially distanced family to bless Asa. We prayed over him and I read this blessing from John O’Donohue. It’s a blessing that I want to pray for each of you reading these words now. If we are feeling weak, we especially need it now.
Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.
I pray that this blessing will be wind in your sails today. Wind pushing you out beyond the safe harbor of life as we have lived it and into the wild seas of destiny.
May all that was special in your own father find expression in you. May you lead others to know our redemptive God who covers our weakness with his strength.
Nothing short of magnificent. To God be the glory. He is faithful. He will do it.
Ironically, our granddaughter was born 3 weeks ago today, and she, too, was named after her great-grandparent. He is faithful to thousands who love Him (Ex. 20:6). What a wonderful song.
Thank you for putting that out there