Post 25: “With Him I Am Well Pleased”


The warrior strode confidently into the Throne Room of the Castle. His chain-male and tunic tattered and soiled from the recent battle. Each rip in the tunic, each smudge of blood and dirt a badge of honor for the heroic and valiant efforts made by this man to win the battle. This was a man who had stared into the eyes of death and was able to summon the strength of will to overpower and defeat evil so that the Kingdom would be safe, would survive. Now that the battle had been won he had been summoned by the King, to present himself before the King, the Queen and the Royal Court.

Upon reaching the throne the warrior bowed before the King. The King stood and asked the warrior to kneel and taking his sword from his scabbard the King touched the warrior on each shoulder and proclaimed that the man was now Sir Henry, a Knight in the service of the King and his kingdom.

This royal act of blessing should be familiar to anyone who has seen a movie about the Middle Ages and the era of Knights, Kings, Queens and Robin Hood. In fact it may be the iconic image of a blessing. When I was growing up my favorite book was “King Arthur and his Knights,” by Maude L. Radford and I read and re-read this book to the point that it was torn and falling apart. My mother, God bless her, understood how important the little book was to me and one year she had the book repaired and rebound and I still have the volume in my library today. I can’t wait to share the stories of valor, courage and sacrifice that are contained in this wonderful book with my grandsons.

So, what was it about this book? Well, the adventures, the gallantry, the armor, the battles, right overpowering evil, and the colorful characters all contributed to my interest but I think what most attracted me was the blessing of men for who they were and what they accomplished. The King, the father figure in the stories would acknowledge the men for their courage and character…something that was lacking in my own life.

As I mentioned in my previous posting on Fatherhood (Blog Post 23: Fatherhood, Part 2) it is vitally important that men, especially fathers, bless their children. Without a sincere blessing it is difficult for our children to develop a positive self image and they more than likely will struggle with life in general, and responsibility specifically. It seems to me that our culture, our society has forgotten how to bless our youth and we’re not even aware that blessings are needed. We substitute trophies, gold stars or judgments for heartfelt acknowledgement of the child.

Recently a prison inmate in my Saturday morning men’s support group inside the local state prison related the story of how his aunt sent packages containing various items (toiletries, etc.) to a group of inmates who had written letters to at risk kids in the aunt’s community. The packages were her way of thanking the men for the blessings they bestowed on the kids. The packages and the notes that accompanied them were her way of blessing the inmates. The men were thankful for the acknowledgment and continued to write.

Other inmates who hadn’t been interested in the writing project when first approached were now very interested to join. They wanted to receive the packages from the one inmate’s aunt. They weren’t motivated by selfless service like the original group. They wanted the goodies, pointing out that you can’t seek a blessing, it has to be bestowed on you unconditionally.

This experience got me thinking about blessings in general so I asked the men in that Saturday morning circle if they could remember a time when they had been blessed, and sadly no one could remember a time! None could think of any time when they had been blessed, just for being themselves. I can’t say for certain but maybe the lack of positive acknowledgment contributed to these men ending up in a maximum security prison.

So what about you? When have you been blessed for being who you are?

In John Eldredge’s book, “Wild at Heart” he tells the story of one heartfelt blessing he received from his wife. If you’ve read the book you remember that Mr. Eldredge uses warrior metaphors to support his thesis and that he lived his life accordingly. He is very much a “Peaceful Warrior” to barrow a phrase from Dan Millman. John’s wife recognized this quality in her husband and one Christmas she wanted to let John know that she truly saw the man he is. After all the other presents had been opened she brought out a long narrow box for John. Inside was a large English broad sword, the Braveheart type, and John was deeply touched and honored by this true blessing. His wife honored him for being the man God intended and it meant more to John than almost anything.

As parents, as spouses, as friends we need to be conscious of the gift in each person in our lives and acknowledge and bless that gift. We need to Challenge ourselves to take a risk and bless someone in our lives today and as often as possible. Recognize that the resistance might be related to your own lack of having been blessed. We only have to look to the Word of God for guidance:

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Matthew, Chapter 3 Verses 16 through 17 (NIV)

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About rightthoughts
Husband/ Father/ Grandfather/ Architect

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