I forgot the story about saying grace at Thanksgiving this year.
I was recruited for this task by my co-hostess because of my credentials as a God geek/lay ministry trainee. My mission: To come up with a blessing suitable for a couple of Christians, a Buddhist, a vociferously religion-averse individual and a few of the theologically uncategorized.
I could have insisted on my Christocentric family favorite -- "Come, Lord Jesus/be our Guest/let these gifts/to us be blest." I could have come up with some subtly evangelizing blessing that quickly slipped the J-word past the goalie.
Here's what I did instead. To honor Fellow Traveler's family tradition, I had everyone hold hands, go around in a circle and name one thing they were thankful for this year.
Then I led the group in a non-theistic table prayer I learned a ways back. I had everyone repeat after me:
It is good.
It is good to be.
It is good to be together.
I will admit to an Abrahamic "Amen!" that kind of got away from me at the end...but I really could feel a certain group tenseness dissolve somewhere in the middle of this exercise as people realized that I wasn't going to go all Christian on them.
I suppose some readers think I compromised my principles to an unacceptable degree with my unorthodox table grace. Well...you do what you have to do when you have to do it. It's too bad that Christianity has wounded so many people in such profound ways that those of us who claim Christ have to tread so lightly in some circles. But I think The CEO understands.