Family and friends arrive at Aunt Mabel's for a festive Sunday dinner consisting of Virginia ham, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, black-eyed peas, candied carrots, lima beans, and other treats. Seated at the table, Aunt Mabel offers a prayer of thanks which begins in a traditional vein so that everyone relaxes and thinks it will end shortly. But she blesses each and every one of the dishes she has cooked. Aunt Mabel continues her extemporaneous prayer with petitions for the President, teachers in schools, Pastor Bob, herself, and then begins blessing the chairs. Her hubby interrupts her and speaks for everyone when he says :"Gracing the table shouldn't take all day!" The food has gotten cold and needs to be warmed up again.
Vanessa Brantley Newton has fashioned a delightful children's book that mildly pokes fun at Aunt Mabel's lengthy blessing. Kids will understand her enthusiasm for giving thanks to God but adults might point out to them that such extended prayers are best done in private. Of course, the question can also be asked: What is the harm in a long prayer when we listen to long CDs or watch long DVDs? Don't Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table is bound to stir up your own family discussions about lengthy prayers and the behavior of people whose hearts overflow with praise for all the blessings which come from God.