Many years ago I came across this touching narrative about a little boy saying grace in public. While the source is unknown, many parents can identify with the situation.
“Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.
My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.
As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!”
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!”
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?”
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.
He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” my son asked.
“Cross my heart,” the man replied.
Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added, indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing, “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.
He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.
With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.”