Monday, June 3, 2013
I grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school most of my life, and I've been a practicing Christian for as long as I can remember. But praying in public has never been "my thing".
The church I grew up in was very formal. We didn't say "amen" to show we agreed with the pastor's remarks during the sermon. There was no such thing as "revival". We prayed in church, we prayed in school, we prayed at home. In public areas? Not so much.
I'm an introvert, so that whole idea of praying in public has always made me uneasy. Not because I doubt my faith but because introverts like me don't care to be on the spotlight.
My children are being raised in a different church than the one I grew up in. They have been to revival, they have heard "amen" during service, and prayed before meals at church and at home.
I've always given thanks for the food on the table. If you know me well, you know my family has been through a lot, so I never take any blessings for granted. I know so many go without so I'm grateful for the blessings I have. But I've never been one to pray over my food at a restaurant. Remember that introvert thing? Add that to the fact praying in public always felt "fake" to me. I felt as if I was trying to call attention to myself. I'm not passing judgement on those who do it, I'm simply sharing why I never had.
A month or so ago, we went out to eat with the kids; which isn't that different from all other times we go out to eat, as it seems we usually go with them everywhere. Anyway, once our order arrived, one of my boys said " wait, don't eat yet, we have to bless the food".
I have to admit, I was shocked. We say the blessing at home, usually three times, because each child wants to say their version. But we have never done in public. So I was surprised at his suggestion.
So we bowed our heads and he blessed the food. I'm sure people looked at us, and in all honesty, I wasn't even aware at that moment. All I could think about was how proud I was to know my children have thankful hearts.
All I've ever wanted was for my kids to be thankful for all their blessings, and to share those blessings with others. It never occurred to me they would be sharing that blessing with me.