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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!

The Blessing

Larry Brown, one of our sustaining members, kindly shared with us one of his writings. It prompts the reader to humbly look at the connection between Faith and actions. Thank you Larry!

The Blessing

Darkness was rapidly falling and the mountains were little more than purplish silhouettes in the mist. We'd been driving the serpentine roads for hours and were now in need of rest and refreshment.

Rounding the bend in the narrow two lane road, we were greeted by the soft, friendly lights of a quaint little inn up above the road. At this hour we decided it would be unwise to bypass the inn on this lonely stretch of mountain road.

As we started to get out of the car, a motorcycle roared into view. Its blinking signal suggested that someone else was also seeking lodging for the night. A burly, rough looking man got off the cycle and followed us inside where we all registered and made arrangements for a meal.

"We serve family style," the old innkeeper said. "After you wash up you may join each other at the table in the dining room." By the time we sat down platters of roast beef, mashed potatoes, chicken, green beans, gravy and biscuits were being put on the table along with iced tea and milk.

My sister, mother, father and I sat rather uncomfortably across from the motorcyclist with his long hair and shaggy beard. "Uh, would ...would you mind if I said the blessing," asked my father somewhat nervously. The other man gave a little nod.

"Dear Lord," my father began. "Thank you for this food we are about to receive. Thank you for the blessings of life and freedom we enjoy. We pray that you will teach us to love as you have loved and forgive us if we have wronged anyone today. In Your name, Amen."

The feast before us disappeared rapidly as we eagerly dug in. The motorcyclist, who had introduced himself as Jack, however, didn't seem very hungry and was kind of picking at his food. Of course this left more for us so we didn't really mind.

After supper we found our rooms and were soon lost in dreamless sleep, exhausted from the day's journey.

Early the next morning with the sun streaming through the pine trees we arose, dressed and filed downstairs to breakfast, to discover Jack patiently waiting at the table. Very soon the table was laden with bacon, eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, grits, coffee and hot chocolate.

As daddy started to speak, Jack spoke up and asked if it would be okay if he said the blessing this morning. Mom and Dad seemed to relax a little more, then. We bowed our heads and Jack began, "Thank you Father for Salvation and also for your creation; for the wonderfully colored birds and their songs and for the other interesting creatures that You created. Creatures that love life too: who have families, rear their young. Father forgive us for we know not what we do. Forgive us for putting ourselves and our stomachs ahead of these innocent creatures who have done us no wrong."

"Teach us the principle of love without boundaries, like you showed in going to your death. Thank you for the bountiful supply of food you have given that causes no suffering. We pray now for a gentle hand for all those who will deal with your creatures today. Lord expand our vision and soften our hearts. In your name we pray. Amen."

Stunned, we sat in silence as Jack ate his grits and biscuits. He finished and excused himself. Soon we heard the roar of his cycle as it shifted through the gears.

One by one we filed from the table. Subdued, we piled in the car to resume our trip.

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