Why our food is better blessed

Doug Campbell - Contributing columnist

Had a dream – a stupid one. From where it came: Who knows?

I opened a grocery store. I’ll spare you the details.

One of the features of my store were placards describing the nutritional contents of the food (gotta watch those calories, carbs and sodium!); simple signs of how to match foods and wines with their complements; and, over the exit door, a sign which read: “Food Is Better Blessed,” and suggestions for table graces from various traditions, including “secular”. (Must be the chaplain in me.)

Food is better blessed.

The research I’ve seen indicates that people who are grateful for life and living, regardless of belief system, are happier and healthier.

The secular version was most telling. Believers ultimately credit our God as being the source of the “bounty which we are about to receive”. True.

Those who are having trouble with God none-the-less acknowledge that there are farmers and animal husbanders who grow and nurture the stuff we put in our mouths and need to survive.

Likewise, there are processors, transporters and retailers and cooks in the food chain. We’re thankful for them all – otherwise the plate is empty tonight.

Could it hurt to briefly take a few moments to be thankful for everything and everyone along the line that make it possible for us to enjoy the smell, the sight, the taste, the texture, the sustenance, the pure joy of the food we’re consuming?

Despite the fact that my cousins and I vied for who could say table grace the fastest, table grace we said. I remember one of my teachers suggesting that as we usually say “Thank you” after having received a gift, we should say grace after dinner.

Most old prayer books have “graces” to be said before and after meals. Go that far if you will; but at least remember. My favorite time to stop and give thanks is as I’m shelving groceries after a visit to Kroger’s: “You did it again, Lord!”

One really good, somewhat sacrilegious prayer goes: “Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who eats the fastest gets the most.

So, down with your feet and up with your paws, and thank the good Lord for the use of your jaws. Amen.” That’ll work.

One of my “hit” chaplain’s prayers is when I suggest that our good appetites are an offering of thanks to God. Think about it.

Pastor Doug Campbell is a retired Lutheran pastor and a member of Faith, Wilmington. He currently is supplying pulpits in the Southern Ohio Synod. He was formerly Deputy Wing Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol in Ohio. Before seminary he worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, and as the editor of the Chanute AFB newspaper in Rantoul, Ill.


Doug Campbell

Contributing columnist