Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I'm So Blessed to Give Thanks Gracefully

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

I'm So Blessed to Give Thanks Gracefully

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Macdonald, Times-Union food editor

Let's pause a moment to contemplate grace.

After all, grace is that short time before a meal when diners can take time to think about things.

Today of all days, grace will be said over tables filled to overflowing.

Some will be said with tiny voices.

God is great. God is good . . .

Other families will repeat a prayer taught in church.

Bless us, O Lord, for these gifts we are about to receive . . .

And for others, there will be a Bart Simpson moment.

Bless the potatoes. Bless the meat. Come on, gang, let's all eat.

Grace can be a prayer or a moment of silence. A time to commune with God or to simply reflect on the good fortune that brought this feast to your family for another year.

Today at my sister Barbara's home, her father-in-law, Marvin "Red" Brown, will say grace. He's a soft-spoken man. All the clatter and commotion that surround the Thanksgiving meal calms in an instant when he prepares to say grace. He chooses his words carefully. The reverent timbre of his voice makes your mind come to attention, even if for just a few minutes.

When Red says grace, it is as if he has made a one-on-one connection with his maker to thank him for the food and for the blessing his family has received over the past year.

It's a family moment I am so lucky to share.

On other days of the year, time for grace is equivalent to the dinner bell. Everyone must be present before grace can be said. Older brothers yell at younger sisters to get off the phone. Fathers tell the boys to quit tossing the football and come to dinner -- now!

Preachers wish they could get congregations to run to church like families scamper to the table for grace.

Little kids saying grace is as precious as it comes. With faces buried in folded hands, the children try to remember all the words. …

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