Little Jo clambers into her chair, laces her small fingers together, and peeks out of one eye.
Thank You for drumsticks and tomatoes and onions and sauce and — and what’s that, Daddy? (“Asparagus.”) — and ‘pararagus and rice and Lucy and Little Jo and Mommy and Daddy. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Naming the food started as a suggestion, something to help us see the fullness of the gifts upon our table instead of speeding through a rote prayer. But the girls took the idea and went a step further, and I had to smile the first time I realized that our little one was going to name not merely the dish, but all its ingredients.
Not all our tableside prayers are formed with such detail, but whenever they are, my own thoughts survey the meal and return to me with softened wonder. Green asparagus in winter. Coconut milk in our rugged, landlocked state. Salt from the sea. Even the parsley flakes were once planted, faithfully tended, dried, and bottled somewhere. Yes, thank You. For the hands, the hard workers, the sun, the rain, and the good earth that brought this food to this table; for the grace of sound minds and bodies that can work to earn the money to buy it. For the flavors it holds and the strength it will give.
I often think I’ve learned all I can from this simple prayer of components, but always, around the fourth or fifth item, something caves, like scales falling from unseeing eyes.
Wishing you well with a thankful heart today —
Happy (American) Thanksgiving to you, friends!