Monday, August 13, 2007

around the table

Early in our dating relationship, John and I started holding hands during prayer. I’m not sure which one of us first initiated the act, but it’s stuck for so long now that the origins don’t matter. We hold hands whenever we’re sitting or standing next to each other and a prayer is said (Sunday school, church, etc.). We also hold hands when we pray before a meal.

One night, while we were at our favorite Chinese restaurant, I noticed a couple a few tables over. They’d gotten their food and had their heads bowed in prayer. I love seeing couples and families praying in restaurants. Fortunately, that’s not uncommon in Mississippi! I was moved, however, to see that this couple, at least 30 years our senior, held each other’s hands across the table the same way John and I just had. It warmed my heart to think that this couple has possibly been holding hands for meal-time prayers maybe even longer than I’ve been alive. I immediately launched into conversation about how I love seeing that and I love that John and I do that.

And then my brain fast-forwarded to the future. Right now John and I hold hands across a table, because there are just two of us. But what a blessing it will be to have children and can hold hands around the table with them. Praying before a meal to thank the Lord for His blessings of another day together, another meal together, another chance to offer praise together is a joyful thing indeed. But holding hands in a circle of family while praying makes it so much more intimate.

I eagerly await the day we can expand our hand-holding from across the table to a true family circle around the dinner table at each meal. That’s definitely one habit and legacy I want to inspire in our children.