Listening to some lovely cello music (thanks, Tom Cole) as a quiche bakes in the oven, when the doorbell rings, surprising me on a Sunday morning. Two girls have come collecting donations of food. After dashing back into the kitchen, I hand each a can. “God bless you!” says one brightly.

There was a time when I would have bristled at such a comment, finding it overly religious (What if I were an atheist? I’m not.) or too monotheistic (What if I were a polytheist? I am.).

Growing up, I experienced a lot of toxicity from religion. Dictums such as “Honor thy father and they mother” were used to silence. And there was no equivalent of “Don’t rape and abuse thy children” to serve in my defense. But none of that seems relevant in the simple exchange at my front door.

Much like sea glass, I’ve found that time and therapy have worn smooth many of my sharp edges. And while I personally believe that the Divine cannot be distilled into any single representation, I also believe in good intentions.

I smile and wave at the two young women as they depart, thanking them for their volunteer work. Closing the front door, I found myself smiling. Maybe I received a blessing after all.

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