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The Blessing of a Child by Jason Edwards

When I was in seminary a spiritual director led me and some other students through an exercise that seemed a little hokey. For about 10 minutes. Then, in the midst of it, I started crying. The most powerful spiritual exercises often start out seeming hokey. Remember, the line between awkward and sacred is often incredibly thin. 

The exercise (and I invite you to try it with me now), goes like this: Sit comfortably and silently. Relax as completely as you can. Breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes. 

Now, imagine you are standing alone in front of an elevator. It is connected to your own heart. The door opens and you walk in. You enter your own heart. The door closes and you push the button that will take you deep down to the lowest level. You go down, down, down, down and then, the door opens. 

Imagine a chair. Sitting in that chair is a child. The child is you. The child is you when you were three-years-old. 

What has that child been going through? What is that child wondering? How is that child struggling? What is that child afraid of? What would you most like to say to that child right now? What do you most need to say to that child right now? What does that child need to hear? 

Now say what you need to say. Tell the child what you know that child needs to hear.

My first experience with this exercise came rushing back into my mind and heart earlier this week. Just before bedtime, Luke asked me if he could show me the art he’d been working on at school. In the midst of his art stack was the simple picture you see attached to this blog. Luke handed it to me saying it was an early Father’s Day present he’d made for me. That, of course, was special enough. But then he surprised me with this explanation of the drawing:

Luke: It says “I love…” and then, Daddy, that’s a picture of you when you were a little boy. 

And just like that, the tears were back. Because that was exactly what the little boy in the picture, the child in my heart, needed to hear. Luke took the elevator down, down, down, found the little boy and blessed him. 

The child in you is still there. That child is you. Remember.

Others were once little children too. They were and down deep they still are. 

What do they need to hear? What do you need to hear?  

Posted by Jason Edwards at 6:00 AM
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