Monday, September 28, 2009


The scene is in downtown Brussels, Belgium. The traffic is scary.

The other car shot our from a small alley into the side of my Volkswagen van. The police came and took statements from the other driver and me.

My French was never really great but I could read the report well enough to know that it asked if I had any blesse’, the French word for bloody injuries. Happily, nobody had been hurt.

That word blesse’ really intrigued me. It seemed so close to our English word bless. As I researched the derivations of bless, I got blessed. French and English come from Latin. Much of the time the Latin roots of a word are evident in each of the derivative languages. Just like blesse’ There is a relation between the French bloody injuries and the English blessing. Old English used the term bledsian to mean covered with blood. (Bludgeon comes from the same root.) Later English usage had the blessen mean sanctify.

I knew I had hold of something wonderful when I found this. To be sanctified or made holy or blessed meant to be covered by blood–bloodified, if you will. Blessen comes into our usage as bless.

To be blessed means to be covered by blood. Yes! Hallelujah! Calvary’s blood, the bleeding wounds of Jesus, is the source of all blessing in our lives.

When we say, “God bless you,” we are invoking the blood of Jesus on others’ lives. “Jesus cover them with your blood,” would mean the same thing. Now when I say, “God bless you,” it has a new connotation to me.

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