The Unexpected Blessing

You went out to walk your dog,
A giant, beautiful puppy,
Who wiggled in ways only puppies could.

I called out to you,
“Can I bless your dog?”

You didn’t run away.
You stepped onto the lawn with her.

You held her in your arms
And I began to pray,

Bless this creature,
Fashioned by the holy one
From the glimmer of stars
And the music of angels. …

I glanced at your face.
You were looking down at her,
Your eyes full of love,
Your countenance full of tenderness.

Bless this creature
And the human one
Who shares its life.

And I realized that
The blessings were spilling out
And splashing up
Over you.
Over me.

The blessings were
Filling this space,
Soothing weary, anxious hearts.

The blessings were touching the world,
The places of joy and of sorrow,
Of fear and of hope,
Of turmoil and of peace.

Bless this home.
Bless this life.
Bless this wonder.
Bless this love.
Bless this creature.

This miracle of life,
The opening up of hearts and spirits
To the gracious blessing of the holy one.

Bless this world
And all its creatures.

Photo: The blessing of Jack by his friend, Claire.

Blessings Upon Blessings


Probably the most fun I’ve ever had at work … Blessing the animals on St. Francis Day (October 4). We gathered on the lawn in front of The Upper Room Chapel. We blessed pets from the neighborhood and pets of staff people. We blessed pictures printed out and pulled up on phones. We blessed the dogs of people just walking by.

From our first guests at 4:00 p.m. (a 40-lb. tortoise named Barnes and a very brave cat named Freddie) to the folks who ran a red light to get here before we closed at 6:00, blessings were given and received.

Bless this creature,
Fashioned by the holy one
From the glimmer of stars
And the music of angels.

Bless this creature
And the human one
Who shares its life.

Bless this home.
Bless this life.
Bless this wonder.
Bless this love.
Bless this creature.

– Beth A. Richardson