For the past several years, our church has celebrated graduating seniors with a special dinner and an opportunity for their parents (or in some cases, guardians) to bless them.
Three years ago, Joshua was eligible, but Kathy and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in Turks and Caicos. So we sent an email blessing and one of our friends read it to Joshua. They did a good job reading it (or so I hear) and so it is possible that Joshua felt significantly blessed, but I suspect that the whole experience was diminished somewhat by the fact that we weren’t on hand to actually do it ourselves (sorry, Joshua).
Last year we had the opportunity to give a blessing to Rachel, but at the time we weren’t posting many blog entries, so (as impactful as it might have been at the time) it is almost as if it didn’t happen (sorry, Rachel). As everyone knows, if a tree falls in the forest but the event is not chronicled in our family blog, it didn’t happen (and in fact, there is serious doubt cast on the existence of either the tree or the forest).
This year it was Daniel’s turn. He will soon be finishing his Low Voltage Electrician and Fire Safety Systems course at Clover Park Technical College, and so we are declaring him a high school graduate (with a little extra on the side). It was very fun for me (and hopefully not too painful for Daniel) to publicly reflect on some of his strengths and to ask God for His blessing in a few areas. My nephew Timothy and his wife and son, and my parents were also able to attend, which made it a bit more solemn (while at the same time, more festive).
As I wrote his blessing, one thing really stood out to me — Daniel is an Evangelist. He really cares about the people that God puts in his path — and he doesn’t make the (often unconscious) mistake of judging people’s worthiness. When I look at a lost person, I often look at them in a human, strategic way, determining whether they are ‘likely’ to accept the gospel or not. If I think that they can’t understand the gospel, or are hardened against it, or have some other moral handicap that will probably quench the gospel’s effectiveness, I am very unlikely to care about them or to tell them about Jesus. This is clearly not reflective of God’s heart, but I tend to think that way.
But not Daniel. His first ‘solo’ attempt at street evangelism paired him with a young man who didn’t speak more than a few words of English. Last Fall, Daniel spent several hours befriending a homeless man so he could give him a Bible. He is routinely embroiled in the strangest arguments about spiritual matters with the most unlikely young men in his class at Clover Park. Daniel is not ‘strategic’ but simply obeys the leading of the Spirit and lives out the gospel to a lost world.
I’m very proud of Daniel. I blessed him tonight in several areas with confidence and hope — knowing that Daniel loves God deeply and knowing God’s expressed plan from Philippians 1:6:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Project 365, Day 146