“Dr. Dobbins? Is something wrong?”
Sam kept staring straight ahead but patted the empty space beside her on the bench; Elly accepted the invitation. “I just got news that my dad died, Elly.”
“Oh, Dr. Dobbins. Bless your heart.”
Sam turned and looked directly into Elly’s eyes. She knew the power of words; she lived with a poet after all. There are times, maybe just moments, when the right word or phrase is like the biblical description: apples of gold in settings of silver. In that moment, Elly’s bless your heart was just such an apple. Sam had heard that phrase growing up at least a million times. Many times the words rang hollow, a thoughtless expression people parroted when they didn’t know anything else to say. But sometimes the three words were more, much more – another human being taking the time to cross to the other side and ask/hope/pray a blessing into the heart of another, that deep place we all hold in common. The wise men brought three gifts of verifiable worth; Elly the wise college girl brought three words of inestimable value - bless your heart.