1297) Giving Thanks

     The coffee shop was a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, open 24 hours a day.  The lunch counter had the antiseptic shine of stainless steel, and in the early morning light looked sanitary and impersonal.

     Assorted persons were lined up on the stools:  yawning college students up early for a test; a tired looking man in a blue suit with a briefcase; two young nurses, rumpled and hollow-eyed from night duty at the nearby hospital; a family with a little girl; and a sullen teenager putting lipstick on her already too bright lips.

     The coffee shop was quiet except for the sputter of frying bacon, the occasional crack of an eggshell by the cook, and a not-yet-awake voice asking for a second cup of coffee.

     Each person was lost in his or her thoughts.  All were anonymously met together for nothing more than the custom of having an eye-opening cup of coffee in the morning.

     The little girl sat between her mother and father, happily swinging her legs from the stool.  The cook, who was also the waiter, put their orders before them, turned and walked away, polishing the already spotless counter as he went.

     The little girl whispered loudly, “Mother, don’t we ask the blessing here?”  No one else was talking, so everyone heard what she said– and then they all paused to see what the embarrassed parents would do next.

     The waiter stopped his polishing and grinned at the little girl.  “We sure do, sister,” he said with authority.  “We’ll all bow our heads, and you say the prayer,” he said as he stood quietly with his head bowed.  

     The girl then bowed her head, and waited a moment.  Then, up and down the counter other heads bowed– the nurses, the students, the man with the briefcase, then slowly the teenager.

     The little voice seemed loud in the room:  “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for this food.  By his hand we all are fed.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Amen.”

     As heads raised there was a noticeable change in the atmosphere.  The man with the briefcase smiled at the nurses and informed them that he had a new baby son at their hospital.  The college students sipped their coffee quietly, perhaps thinking about little sisters and brothers at home.  The teenager looked in the mirror thoughtfully, and then grinned at the little girl’s mother.

     A momentary bond of friendliness had come into the room.  The little girl, oblivious to what she had done, drowned her waffle in syrup and ate it happily.     –Source unknown

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“Saying Grace”  Norman Rockwell 

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Matthew 5:16  —  (Jesus said), “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Isaiah 11:6  —  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
     the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

Luke 18:16  —  But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

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God is great, God is good, and we thank him for this food.  

By his hand we all are fed.  

Give us this day our daily bread.  Amen.

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