I woke up this morning next to a tiny yet adorable furnace. It appears all this fun, fun, fun has worn out lil' Ham and he now has a fever. Medicine and fluids have been applied. He's watching cartoons and we'll re-evaluate our park plans in a couple of hours. Needless to say, I do have a little free time and this made me think of something I observed yesterday at Magic Kingdom.
Yesterday we spent our second and final day at Magic Kingdom. MK is my favorite of the WDW parks. My brother, who traveled with us and our parents, has friends who recently moved to Orlando. They are good friends of the family who happen to have three young children 6 and under. The 'H Family' joined us at MK for yesterday's fun in the sun (and frigid cold wind). I must say, having only ever been to WDW in the summer time, it was quite strange to walk the park bundled up and to see others in gloves, stocking hats and scarves. Aside from the cold though, it was totally the best because the park was thinned out. We were riding rides with no wait, getting off the ride and then getting right back on. These are rides that usually have outrageous 150 minutes plus wait lines. Seriously...it was that awesome.
Anyway, we all stopped for lunch around noon. As everyone sat down to eat, I got up to look for Hubs (who was trying to find some replacement pants for Ham who had 2 accidents yesterday). To my side were tables filled with other families eating and resting. I noticed one table with their hands held and heads bowed. They were blessing their meal before they ate and they were praying out loud. I smiled and closed my eyes and prayed with them...until I was interrupted by snide giggles and scoffing. It appears the table behind them didn't appreciate the prayer. In fact, the dad was leading his two sons in making fun of the praying family. They giggled, pointed and pretended to make prayer hands. I rolled my eyes and said a little prayer for them, but I said an extra big prayer for the kids at the praying table. Their little faces made me want to cry. They heard the giggles and saw the boys making fun of them. It was clear they didn't like being made fun of. The thing is, before the snickering, these kids were saying the prayer with smiles on their faces and now they feel embarrassed. This made me wonder, how many of us, adults, avoid praying in public because we are too embarassed? How many of us bless our meals out in public? Do you find yourself encouraging dinner prayers at the table at home but not following through in public for fear of scrutiny?
I think of how hard it must be for those who live in a country where Christian prayer is not only discouraged but punished, and yet, they refuse to avoid prayer. What makes are situations different? Why is it that Christians must be compassionate to everyone else and their faiths, but we can't pray in public without stares and snickers? I'm frustrated and heart broken for those children who were so proud of their prayers until they were made fun of. What can we do as parents to better encourage and lead public prayer?
Do you pray in public? If yes or no, why?