Bowing One's Head
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Wed, 7 Sep 1994 14:09:09 CST
This should have made it to my book, but didn't. Thanks whomever
started this string about respect for the flag and bowing one's head!
Bowing One's Head
As a public speaker, I get a lot of invites to come to churches
and schools to talk about Scouting or Exploring and how it made me
the person I am today, good or bad. I enjoy especially going to
schools and churches where I'm the "minority" (not only being the only
Black person there, but in many cases, the only "Christian" person
there). The message is the same, and centers around the personal
values that I've learned through Scouting and the alful amount of fun
and enjoyment that I've had through interaction in the program and
In a small town in Michigan, right outside of Flint, was a church
with only one Black member. I rightly forgot why I was invited or
whom invited me (I think that it was one of those cards that you
exchanged during the Jamboree two years before, one of those "Hey!!
Whenever you get around these parts, stop in and we'll have you talk
to our congregation" or something like that. It's not important).
I love the reception/sharing time after the services, whereby all
of the womenfolk (and some of the men) have prepared a large set of
tables with several entries, lots of desserts, and (of course) coffee
and tea to "beat the band". I would spend more time swapping
stories and explaining my role in Scouting moreso during my ten
minutes during the service. For the next hour or two, I would be
there, standing with a paper plate full of food and doing a juggling
act of shaking hands, talking with people and stuffing my face all at
the same time. I think that I've got it down to a small science.
Well, maybe not. At this particular time, after everyone got in
line and started to get their food (and of course, the guests get
their food first so that everyone can see them juggle their plate and
drink while talking!), the pastor of the church called upon one of the
guests to offer a word of prayer before we all ate. I had to QUICKLY
swallow the really yummy piece of pumpkin pie because as "most kids
know", you are NOT supposed to eat before you give thanks. I think
that the pastor did that on purpose...either that, or he wanted to see
if I can talk and eat at the same time!
Now, I don't know about you, but Karen Becvar and later on my
mother taught me that you don't pray with your eyes open. "God won't
know that you're sincere", Karen told me in the baseball field many
years ago; my mother would simply pinch my leg or hit my shoulder
when I would attempt to fake her out and just bow my head. If the pain
didn't get you, her stern "Micheals" would!
After sitting down my plate on what I thought was the edge of the
table, I started in on my prayer, asking everyone to please join with
me in respectful prayer. I closed my eyes and spoke. As I prayed,
giving thanks for getting there, for the friendship of the people and
for the service His servants provided, I felt something wet on my shoes.
I thought that perhaps my shoes were sweating, but I kept my eyes closed
as I finished with asking for His blessing on the food provided and of the
people whom prepared it and sharing it all with us. As I spoke my
"Amen", I opened my eyes and found that all of my food had found its
way to the floor. I didn't place my plate on a table, but rather on a
seat which I hit while I had my eyes closed.
I waited until after everyone went through the line once more before
getting something to eat. I think that there's a lesson there
somewhere.... In the meantime, I had to still endure lots of questions
and one woman was kind enough to get me another cup of coffee while I
was cleaning up my mess on their flooring.
I think that the people of that church also found someone that is
NOT a "professional speechmaker", a person that like all folks, aren't
"perfect examples". I *do* spills too!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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