Lord, when my son, John, attended St Francis Episcopal Day School, he invited a middle school classmate to spend the night in our home. His friend was a fine young and respectful boy. By all accounts he had everything he needed. He lived in a million dollar home in Memorial. He had very successful professional parents who were involved at his school, in their church and in his extracurricular activities.
John had told us that his friend had a nanny and the best clothes, the best toys and the best video games.
As was customary, at 6 o’clock in the evening, everyone was summoned to the dinner table. Our family, including John’s friend, stopped what they were doing and gathered round the table. There was no need to “dress for dinner”. Everyone came to the table as they were. Everyone took their places. We bowed our heads. We held hands. We asked God to bless our food and those who prepared it. We thanked God for the fruits of our labors and for the circle of family, friendship and love sitting around the table.
Years later, I no longer remember what was said or the number of times we laughed. But, I will never forget what happened next. At the end of the meal, my son’s middle school guest raised his head with a look of longing and an aching heart and said, “I wish my mom and dad would come home from work and have dinner with me each day. I wish we could do this in my home.”
That’s when I realized that this young man had every material thing he could wish for except for the spiritual and loving thing he needed–a time each day to sit and enjoy a meal with his parents, to hold their hands and pray. To just enjoy being together.
God, please help parents to make time daily to break bread with their children.
May every child and parent make lasting and cherished memories of love and connectedness at the table together. Times in prayer and in sharing a meal when You are present with them. When they are present with You. And they are present with each other to the nourishment of their bodies, their souls, and one another. Amen
If you like this prayer, please share.
If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click on here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.