lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom
Count your blessings ...
as I wrote to James M. Emmerling in an answer to a comment of his
... and bless your counting.
It is the other way around of course, as I learned in my childhood.
My father was a member of the parochial church council. So, some evening in the year, when it was his turn, our house was the place where they counted the revenues of the collections of the last period. I was a young kid. I remember a dark evening, the table in the middle of the room under blazing lamplight, some men around the table, their faces well visible, the rest of their body disappearing in the encircling gloom.
And, as with every gathering, they started the counting beseeching for the Lord's blessing on their deeds.
I do not know what they were praying for, but I can imagine that in their mind there was some Platonian idea of the barrel of meal, of the widow of Zarephath, that never wasted and her cruse of oil that never failed.
And how could the collection bag fail? There were some big families in the village, my father raised one. Every Sunday we were twice ordered to go to church, and then my father gave me three five-cent pieces for three collections. So my old man threw every Sunday a few breads in the offertory bag, with which he easily could have filled the mouths of his children for the next days.
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years
And as you can learn from the comments on the web sites of the news outlets or the blogs. It is easy to find two people, whose circumstances are about the same, the one, probably from the Tea Party, filling internet with his lamentations and the other always seeing the good things of life, probably from ...
Well, the other takes for granted that the one is a Tea Party guy.
The one is damned sure that the other is a socialist.
Being the same kid, but a bit older, I used to help on Saturday my neighbor, a baker. Now when it was a nice summerday with a lot of sunshine it was like hell in the bakery. And my baker, a good and a Godfearing man, felt it that way too. Oh boy, on such a day he produced some expletives.
Was my baker cursing? Well, formally not. But being angry with nature, with the power that has brought the sunshine ...
In those days it was a habit of our people to start every meal with praying and to end them with thanksgiving. They were formal, short prayers.
Not with my baker. The praying was okay. But for the thanksgiving he took his time.
... and that we o Lord may recognize your blessings ... and there it came after some other phrases ... because it was you o Lord that has sent such a beautiful weather so that we can enjoy a day bright and shining.
I'm not a believer, but my baker taught me some thing.
So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still will lead me on
Count your blessings ...
... and may your counting be blessed.