Mealtime prayers are quite an experience at our house. Whoever is responsible for setting the table is also in charge of saying grace before we eat. That means we get quite a range of prayers from traditional prayers to simple blessings learned in younger grades and now Spanish versions of many prayers.
But up until recently, our daughter, Riley, never got a turn. Since she’s only five, and didn’t really know any prayers, she usually got bypassed. That is until she asked for a turn to say the prayer. So we added her to the rotation.
When it was her turn we all took our seats, folded our hands and waited. Then Riley–head bowed, hands folded–very prayerfully and solemnly began…singing…the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
My oldest two kids started snickering. And I have to admit it was tough not to join them. But it occurred to me that this was a wonderful teaching moment about how different people express their faith in many different ways. And the fact was that Riley offered her prayer with as much heart as both of her siblings when they recited their more traditional mealtime prayers.
It was a good reminder–in all areas of our life–that sometimes we need to scoot over from our comfort zone and make room at the table for others.