The memory still fills me with shame. I was a junior in high school, and had joined the small group of guys that I usually ate lunch with in the cafeteria. Over the past few weeks we’d been increasingly drawn together by our shared Christian faith (a discovery made when I lent one of them a book in which I had a communion registration card from my church: he wanted to know if I truly believed the “real presence” language on the card). On this particular day, the same fellow invited me to join him in praying a blessing over the meal. I started to bow my head, then looked up into the blank eyes of a student who was not part of the group. I declined to pray.