Friday, April 20, 2012
Father, we’re thankful for this meal we’re about to receive. Bless the hands that grew it and the hands that prepared it. Bless it to the good nourishment of our bodies and our souls. In Christ’s Name. Amen.
Such is the prayer my daddy prayed at our mealtimes … and so did we children on our designated days to say the blessing. And after all these years, I am still deeply warmed by those words coming from my father's mouth. So why should I forego them and practice my own inadequate wording which I have done for decades? To make me appear more spiritual maybe … especially in the presence of others as I try to rattle off something sublime? [Sometimes I just make my own self so sick.] In fact, there’s a common joke around our dinner table even now that anybody will quickly jump in to pray before Mom (me) does so that the food won’t get cold while thanking the Almighty for His bounty. The problem with that is that I have to thank Him for the sunshine or rain – or whatever weather pattern is going on at the moment, and for all those gathered around the table and anything else that sounds divine. And of course I have to mention all those “who can’t be with us” and protect them wherever they are, and then finally ask God to bless our “faith, fellowship, and food.”
Sick, I tell you! Just plain sick.
And so this morning, I sat here alone in my “garden enclosed” with a bowl of Special K cereal in my hands … and prayed with my eyes directed toward my small crock:
Father, I’m so thankful for this meal I’m about to receive. Please bless the hands that grew it and the hands that prepared it. And bless it to the good nourishment of my body and my soul.
I must say that as I took that first spoonful and slowly placed it in my mouth, I really “tasted” it for the first time. I chewed slowly and deliberately. And as I did, I blessed the sweat of the farmer’s brow as he planted the seed, harvested the grain and placed it in the silos. I blessed those who milled, dried or hulled. I blessed the hands that turned the product into an edible source of nourishment; that packed the boxes and loaded and drove the trucks; that lined the shelves at the grocery store. (I also blessed the dairy farmers and the process of the milk.) And before I knew it, a whole host of people who before had never crossed my mind in such a way had entered my world and God had made my cereal something sacred. How could it NOT nourish my soul?
Yes, any place is sacred ground, even sitting on a couch with a bowl of cereal and a spoon, when it becomes a place of encounter with God.
All around in every direction: Holy of Holies!
Just an ordinary moment...