The other day I gave Ethan his breakfast and then sat next to him at the counter, picked up a magazine and started to read. Then I heard his little voice: "Pay?" At first I thought, "No way are we going to play, you are going to eat that cereal. Period." But as I glanced up, I realized his little fingers were outstretched to me, not in a vertical, I-want-to-get-out-of-my-chair-way, but horizontally, in a I-want-to-hold-your-hand-way.
Ohhh, I thought. Pray. He wants to pray. So I took his hand and blessed the food, short and sweet like you do with one and a half year olds. He let go of my hand and looked down at his cereal and I picked up my magazine.
I looked over at him, his hand agian outstretched. Well, ok.
So we prayed again, this time for Nawnie and Ampa and for love. Amen.
I let go but Ethan wasn't finished. "Pay?"
Again? I thought. Why does he want to pray agian? So we did. For Deana and Simon and Andrew and Grammie and Papa. We thanked God for His grace and goodness and for protection for Daddy at work. Amen.
This time I didn't go back to my magazine and sure enough we started praying some more.
Now, I haven't taught Ethan to pray. In fact, if anything I feel like I have taught him not to pray, I do it so rarely. But he likes to do it. I haven't prayed for that long in a long time, even though the whole ritual was done and over with in less than six minutes.
God's grace comes to us from everywhere, but more and more I am realizing a little more how much grace the Lord gives me through five tiny outstrectched fingers.