Are all blessings truly only from God? We talk about being "blessed" and invoke God's blessing on America (or the whole world if you are of a more generous bent), but are such blessings solely from the divine?
I was thinking about that today because something recalled to me a conversation I had with my best friend back in Jr. High. To give a bit of context to the conversation I should say that my friend was (is?) an atheist. She had grown up in India as her father did research on ancient Sanskrit texts. Having witnessed the effects of organized religion on creating such horrors as the Caste system, she refused to ever follow any religion. That soon led to a disbelief in God altogether.
One day our botany class was outside tending the school garden and she happened to notice the school sign. In typical early nineties feel-good self-esteem public school parlance it read - "We Are So Blessed." My friend took serious offense at it. She starting ranting about how it violated the separation of church and state to be proclaiming such a religious statement on public school property. Most of us around her were a bit confused. None of us had assumed that the statement had any religious connotation whatsoever. I figured it meant something like "we are blessed to have such great students." But my friend argued that the entire concept of blessing was a religious one and that blessings could only come from deities. Since she didn't believe in said deities that sign was forcing religion upon her. She left then to go complain to our teacher who happened to be a rather militant atheist. I don't remember what happened after that, if the sign was changed or not, but I remember vividly the oddity of that conversation.
So I wonder now if I too trace all blessings to God. If I believe that all that is good comes from God, then all blessings no matter who bestows them are from God as well. If we have been blessed to be a blessing (as the covenant describes), we then are indeed God's avatars. God's mystery of working behind and within all things encompasses the goodness of blessing. As a Jr. Higher I brushed such an idea aside in favor of a secular interpretation, but my atheist friend saw the hand of the divine there nonetheless.
Labels: Reflections, Theology