Bothering God

 I have a seven-year-old granddaughter by marriage named Madeline. She is blond, skinny and tall for her age. When she comes to visit, we cook together. Our most successful dishes to date have been mashed sweet potatoes with lots of butter and crescent dinner rolls made from scratch. From the day Madeline was born, we have been able to look each other straight in the eye with no sentimentality whatsoever. The tartness of our love for one another continues to surprise me. It is easy to forget she is seven years old.

My first indication that there might be gaps in her religious education came several years ago, when her mother, her grandfather and I joined hands around the dinner table and bowed our heads to pray. "Why is granddaddy talking with his eyes shut?" Madeline asked. "Just be quiet and listen," her mother said, which was not a bad introduction to prayer.


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