Gratitude transcends the boundaries of religion, and sitting down for a meal invites me to pause in thanksgiving. After years of using my grandmother’s faithful words, “Bless this food to our bodies and our bodies to Thy service,” I’m ready for a new blessing.
Thank You for this food, and for the health and skill* to prepare it.
Thank You for blessings today, seen and unseen, noticed and unnoticed.
Teach me to see like You see.
Teach me to love like You love.
Please teach me how to receive.
* This phrase varies; I also love words like strength, creativity and knowledge.
I offer a grateful nod to author Patricia Ryan Madson. In her delightful book, Improv Wisdom, Madson shared a Zen approach she learned at Sen Kobo Temple in Kuwana, Japan, during a week spent “investigating [her] debt to the world.”
Improv Wisdom nudged me to consider the chair I was sitting on while reading it and imagine a person who harvested the materials for the chair, someone who had built it, another who delivered it to a store, and so on. Like an improviser grateful for the words of a partner that set up his/her next sentence, I could begin to see, in her terms, “a world of support.”
And thank you for reading. May these words articulate some of your own thoughts of gratitude or inspire fresh phrases.