Tuesday, March 29, 2005

God's Answering Machine

I just love this poem I read in the Writer's Almanac newsletter this morning and wanted to share it with you. I think of my own voice and my face over dinner each day, with my hungry kids waiting, forks poised, and my husband hoping I don't launch into anything other than the usual, "Please bless our family and our food, and thank you for this day" kind of prayer. In my heart, I would love for that moment to be about thanking God for all the good things that have happened that day...but everyone else seems to see it as a gateway to mealtime. Ah well. Perhaps one day they will have an experience like this author had:

by Linda Pastan, from The Last Uncle © W.W. Norton.

When the young professor folded
his hands at dinner and spoke to God
about my safe arrival
through the snow, thanking Him also
for the food we were about to eat,
it was in the tone of voice I use
to speak to friends when I call
and get their answering machines,
chatting about this and that
in a casual voice,
picturing them listening
but too busy to pick up the phone,
or out taking care of important
business somewhere else.
The next day, flying home
through a windy
and overwhelming sky, I knew
I envied his rapport with God
and hoped his prayers
would keep my plane aloft.

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