Something spiritual happened in the drive-thru as I was paying the cashier today. Everybody inside the place was scowling and sulking around. They seemed so angry and so inconvenienced by my presence at the little sliding window. These people need some flair, I thought.
I decided to ask God for help. Those people needed a blessing.
To bless is a way of inviting the power and presence of God in. It's a means of imagining the best for someone and infusing some situation with hope and joy.
"God, could you bless these people?" I muttered. But then I rolled my eyes at myself. Was that the best I could do? That blessing had no pizazz. If I'm going to pray for good things for people, I want to do with with flair.
I tried again: "God, could you give these workers unimaginable strength and joy today? Could you somehow remind them how wonderful and beautiful they are? Would you bring good things into their lives? Would you fill them with the kind of hope and security that will sustain them forever?"
Then, as I was leaving the drive-thru, a frowning older man nearly drove into my car. It looked like he hadn't laughed in decades. I took a deep breath, still wondering how I could be more creative in blessing people. I wanted to get specific.
"God, I hope this old man can laugh so hard that tears come out of his eyes today. I want him to slap his thigh and hang onto his friends for balance because he's laughing so hard."
I pulled out of the parking lot, and a frantic and stressed-out UPS man darted in front of me. So I prayed he would enjoy a profoundly delicious lunch. It was all I could think of at the time! Then I drove past some stern looking utility workers who seemed annoyed that I was driving past their work zone. I prayed that they would have wonderful evenings with their families--the kind where everyone feels cozy and loved.
Offering blessings today saved me from a bad mood and road rage. It reminded me that, in some mysterious way, I can invite the good and the beautiful into a stranger's life. God commands that we bless and not curse, so I want to do it with flair. What if I did this more often? What if everybody did? Living with flair means I'm not just enjoying this power and presence, but I'm also giving it. Next time I get in my car, I'm going to eagerly anticipate meeting grumpy people who need a stranger to bless them. And I hope that, when I'm a grouch, somebody is blessing me.