MONDAY RAMBLE PART 19 “AMAZING GRACE”Posted: October 25, 2010
There you are, at the dinner table, your significant other has invited you to eat with the family…it’s Sunday or the last Thursday in November or whatever and for some strange reason the guest of honor (you) has been chosen to say the blessing.
I’ve feigned a different faith to get out of messing up a blessing before. But there have been times when I couldn’t get out of the deed and it was on me to deliver the word of praise with a table full of folks before food consumption. It was one of the most worrisome moments of my life. I mean, you can’t technically get prayer wrong but there are certain instances where you want to make an impression, or at least not come off like a foolish heathen.
I was on a mission to produce a 46-second sermon style grace as I began running thru old prayers in my head. I thought about comic relief and starting off with a Talladega Nights inspired “sweet baby Jesus.” I could see Will Ferrell in my mind, I almost laughed out loud but then I thought ‘I can’t steal that,’ I wanted to but I didn’t know who had seen the movie, so it wasn’t a guaranteed giggle.
Then I got the idea to apply some off-the-top-of-the-head scripture, prayer book lines and maybe infuse something with a rhythmic pattern to show my…wait a minute, this isn’t open mic night, this is a conversation with The Creator! It’s simple, just thank Him/Her for the hands that prepared the food, some mumbo jumbo about family and us being together and don’t give special thankful shout outs for individuals because then you have to include everyone. Humans like a good prayer, but they like food a little more. Brevity is key.
I still got nervy, whoever was holding my hands got theirs soaked, I totally skipped the heavenly salutation and just started asking for crap, bless the chicken, bless the stuffing, bless Aunt somebody that cooked it, thank you for waking us up, look out for the folks that traveled. This was sounding like my last few minutes of a radio interview. Long pause…eyes open…see other eyes open…okay, Amen…end scene.
No congrats, pats on the back, extra Amens or anything. It was a below average C-minus blessing at best. It wasn’t worth a hell trip or anything but God wasn’t smiling. I’ve had better ones after that but then I felt like I just studied the script (not the scripture) a little better.
You know? Switching up the pitch, changing the tone, replace “naw mean” and “you feel me?” with “Father God” and “thank you Lord.” I’ve been around the prayer block a few times now.
Although there are still some instances where we go around the table saying what we’re thankful for and I really hate saying something bland or unoriginal so sometimes I say, “pass.” I think it’s funny but no one ever laughs at that…to my face. Other times I say, “Next up, I believe that’s me, let me shout out Allah and all the other spiritual deities…” if I’m in the mood to shock folks and amuse myself. Mostly that’s just in my head though.
This whole thought process got me to thinking about the prayer that begins, “God is great, God is good…” I thought I understood it as a kid, like God is so great, but then sometimes He’s just cool. Or maybe they gave His greatness a second thought, and retracted it. No that couldn’t be it, maybe He’s all things so He can be great, good, decent, asi-asi…and so on and so forth. Or maybe this was just about rhyme scheme. Good was supposed to rhyme with food. And it might have in the Old Testament.
No one knows if the head-bow, quick instant message really works. Has food poisoning ever broken through the blessing barrier? Can it kill E coli? What about the mad cows that were hospitalizing folks or even bubble guts? I would love to see some medical cases where food was supposed to take someone out but they nailed an “amazing” grace and beat the odds.
Either way, I’m gonna keep saying ’em…not just because chicks like church thugs…or I think God’s going to intervene and block botulism…or because it’s a force of habit…oh you thought I had a logical reason. I’m rambling damnit!
Nah truthfully there is always a time to reflect and be gracious for what you have, whether it’s a big dinner with family or a happy meal…or a sad meal. Grace is great, grace is good.
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