“May the hair on your toes never fall out!”
— J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit (Thorin Oakenshield addressing Bilbo Baggins)
It’s a safe bet my toes and your toes have never been subjected to such a blessing. But I like the idea of being blessed starting from the bottom up, encompassing my most humble and homely parts first.
The world would be a better place if we rediscovered the art of bestowing blessings–those specific prayers of favor and protection that reinforce community and connection to each other and to something larger than ourselves. They have become passé in a modern society where God’s relationship with and blessing of His people is not much more than an after-thought. Benedictions can extend beyond the end of worship services to all tender partings; wedding receptions can go beyond roasting and toasting to encompass sincere prayers for a future life together.
But let’s start at the very beginning: let’s bless our hairy toes. A very good place to start…
“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”
— Flannery O’Connor
May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire
May those who love us, love us;
and those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts;
and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles
so we’ll know them by their limping.
Traditional Irish Blessings