Ever since the knowledge was shared with me that blessed, the word used repeatedly in the Beatitudes, orginaly meant happy rather than how we use it now to mean divinely favored, it has bothered me when people use them interchangablly.
Countless times friends of mine will post something about being “so blessed on this beautiful day filled with family and friends.” I am glad for them, sometimes more than others, but still glad. Annoyance also pokes it’s head too, because what they are implying is not that they are happy in life, but that God has divinely favored them. Which honestly seems a little snarky of God (and the person claiming it) to divinely favor this person with jobs they love, happy marriages, and enjoyable children, but not the other person that craves that with their whole being.
This past year, the Universe gave me what I like to call the Stink Eye. It was rough. (I’m working on names to refer to it easily: The TERRRIIIBLE ‘11, The “I’m Fine!” Year, and Stinkpot are the leaders so far, suggestions welcome.)
I learned a lot about myself and my network of community that year. There is a significant difference between happiness and divinely favored-ness, and it’s in the relationships. Being happy is situation dependent; being divinely favored is only to be found in community.
It was in my darkness hours that I truly felt ‘blessed’ (and I don’t mean happy, because I wasn’t the majority of time). Whether it was my friends who knew not to push me for details I didn’t want to give, my mother who knows my weakness so well but never chooses to strike them, or the doctor who went along with me naming the tumor Igor…these people and relationships were truly given by God. And in this aspect, I truly felt divinely favored. Not because God loves me more than he does another person, but because God is the relationship. There is no other basis for our relationships (even when I’m feeling agnosticy), and if we are lucky enough to be able to actively participate in a good solid community then we most certainly are divinely favored.