Monday, September 12, 2022

A Hippo Blessing for Humble Walk

All things belong to God, so all things are related.  There is a particular joy in finding the connections and relation between things, their unique blessing to the world and link to each other, and naming them out loud.  When Pastor Jodi Houge of Humble Walk Church asked if I would write a Hippo Blessing for Humble Walk Church, I was delighted to be a conduit for this message.  

Last night in their worship service Humble Walk Church gave out tiny hippos to the whole congregation for Back to School blessing.  This is what they said:

A Hippo Blessing for Humble Walk by Kara K Root


Millions of years ago, the intrepid hippopotamus diverged from its closest relatives 

(who went on to become whales, dolphins and porpoises) 

and claimed its own wacky branch on the tree of mammals, as 

land animals who mostly live in water. Water animals who can’t swim or float. 

World class expert sleepers who stay up all night grazing like great nocturnal cows. 

Their milk is bright pink, their sweat is bright orange,

and their appearance does not reveal their gender.

This giant land mammal takes down full-grown lions, 

and dances on webbed tippy toes across river bottoms.

Introverts who hang out together,

they’re heavy and fast, cute and fierce. 

Hippos keep the world guessing.  

Beloved, claim your uniqueness, chart your path, 

and the playful creativity of God will shine through your life.


Hippos make an impact just living in the world.

Their bodies and behaviors carve trails and form the foliage around them,

shape the microbial make-up of streams and rivers,

and reroute the trajectory of swamps and channels. 

Beloved, quietly live your power and potential in the world, 

and the earth-shaping transformation of God will move through your life.


The hippo’s cry (called a “wheeze honk”), 

uniquely among all the earth’s creatures, 

can carry through air and water at the same time

projecting their message far and wide, 

and connecting them to each other no matter where they are. 

Beloved, raise your voice and seek your kindred, 

and the limitless belonging of God will speak through your life. 


Hippos have sensitive skin, so they do what they can to protect it. 

But they also have bulletproof skin, tough and resilient.

They’ve learned how to stay chill and hydrated. 

With a center of gravity low and grounded,

and eyes, nose and ears high and engaged, 

hippos observe above the surface while resting below the depths. 

Beloved, tend your souls, rest your bodies, stay attuned to the world,

and the unceasing presence of God will uphold your life.



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