My friend and pastoral colleague, Nathan Koontz, wrote this blessing for my ordination, September 27, 2009. In an earlier conversation with Nathan I had told him the following story (clearly this story shaped the blessing):
At one point in my life I was feeling wounded in spirit. I was driving in the Flint Hills at the time when many fields were being burned. There were stretches where I couldn’t see more than 10 feet ahead of me. The smoke from these fires was getting into everything. It came through the vents in my car and filled up the car with smoke. It got on my clothes. I felt saturated in this smoke. And as I struggled to find my way slowly through this 10-mile stretch, I began comparing this smoke to the grief I was feeling. I thought about how grief or loss can so often cover or saturate everything, making it difficult to see more than 10 feet ahead. I thought about how when we feel injured or physically limited, we often need to learn how to see again. We need to learn how to relate to our surroundings again and this process doesn’t necessarily come naturally or easily or quickly.