He was unsure as he started his first prayer ever. Everyone at the table had their hands folded and eyes pretend shut. They wanted to see the expression on a little boys face as he prayed this first prayer. He too furtively peeked around the table before he began. Then with brow furrowed in earnest he spoke. “Thank you Jesus for the food and for grandma and grandpa, (pause) for daddy and mommy,” (pause) another quick peek, then he continued, “for the plates and spoons and sugar, and puppies (deep breath) for our house, for missionaries, (another peek to gain more fuel for the prayer) for the turkey and little turkeys and feathers.” The prayer was long. Even the turkey peeked to see if it was over.
Everyone withheld the temptation to snicker, but by the time he finished stomachs were growling. When the prayer was finally over the “Amen” from everyone at the table was resounding and heartfelt. Looking at the glow on his little face they knew they were on holy ground. A little boy had just demonstrated the anchor that would be at the center of his character. An anchor that would bring him great joy in the good times and provide solid comfort in tough times.
It was a cold night 71 years later and only a few were with him this time. The once smooth face was weathered and worn. His eyes looked tired but still held a glint of mischief and joy. This time they all held his hands as he prayed his last prayer.
He peeked at the loved ones who had come to be with him, then his brow furrowed in earnest. “Thank you Jesus for all you have given me. Thank you for my family, thank you for the days of sunshine. Thank you for being with me through the storms. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me.” He squeezed the hands that held his and opened his eyes wide looking with love at each person in the room, thanking God for each one.
His last word was just a whisper…. barely audible….
With that his hand relaxed and a man who had been given one of the greatest gifts of all, joined the One who had given the gift.
He would be remembered for long prayers, but most of all for a grateful heart.
I thanked God today that I can still run. Because of a disease, my feet are not suppose to work well. Thank you God that I can run.
What little thing are you grateful for today? Something you may have missed in days past or taken for granted.