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Ronda Rich: Praying in exactly the right place
ronda rich
Ronda Ronda Rich is the author of "Theres A Better Day A-Comin." - photo by File photo

Ronda Rich

Syndicated Columnist

It happened recently.

Tink and I had just finished a video conference call. Chatting face to face by video screen was something that I thought George Jetson would take to his cartoon grave and yet it happens regularly across the globe.

What is unusual about our video chats is that they occur in the unlikeliest of backward places.

Mama’s kitchen. The little brick house that Mama and Daddy built in 1957 sets on the east side of the Rondarosa. It is fitting that the sun rises and first smiles over that little home that has served God as well as man. It then revolves slowly around the front pasture, creek, graveled drive before throwing a sunny kiss toward Tink’s office.

In the rural South, the headstones in church graveyards face the East, in a bow to scriptures that prophesies that Jesus will return from the Eastern skies and the dead in Christ shall rise from their graves to face Him. If I am ever at Mama’s for daybreak, I sit in the swing, coffee in hand, and watch the soft yellow, orange and red of that rising sun, pondering how often Daddy must have gotten into his old pickup, cranked it up, sometimes waiting for frost to dissolve from the windshield, and looked toward that Eastern sky, thinking on those scriptures.

In a place so pretty — not grand, mind you — it is easy to be reminded of the nature’s gifts as squirrels and bunnies dash about, hummingbirds flirt sweetly, and a gentle breeze lifts the maple leaves.

Back in Mama’s kitchen, things are still pretty much as they were in 1957. The water heater is still jammed in the corner and the same roll-out windows stretch across the kitchen sink and cabinets. A water pipe that burst during a freeze caused enough damage to require the original red and white tile be replaced and new cabinets — just as simple as the original — be installed.

The phone still hangs on the wall, ringing loud when someone calls. Always, as I pick up the receiver, I remember Mama, usually wiping her hands on her apron before she touched the receiver. Always.

Often, I chuckle thinking of Mama’s aggravation because she couldn’t figure out how to use call-waiting. At first, she hung up on the first caller, trying to get the second caller. Then, finally, she took up saying, “I gotta go. Someone else is tryin’ to call. I need to hang up so they can call me back.”

In this always behind-the-times little house lies the biggest irony on the Rondarosa — it has internet service several times faster than our house. That is why we must always go to Mama’s for business calls. Mama and God are laughing. Daddy couldn’t care less because he’s in the presence of the Lord and that’s all he ever wanted.

That day, we were video chatting with a famous man to discuss a faith-based television project we are doing together. As we prepared to sign off, I said, “Wait a minute. Would you mind if close out in a word of prayer?”

Everyone agreed so, sitting at Daddy’s spot at the kitchen table, I prayed briefly. “Amen!” the others chimed in.

When the video faded from the screen, Tink looked at me and shook his head quietly.

“What?” He smiled faintly. “That little girl from Rural Route One, praying with the famous over a television show in the little kitchen of her childhood.” He paused. “Your daddy would be proud.”

His words hit my heart. I thought of all the mornings that I had witnessed Daddy, arms folded on the table, cigarette pinched between his fingers, coffee cup nearby, head bowed and eyes closed in prayer.

He never prayed for anything as frivolous as television. He prayed for bodies to be healed, hearts to be unburdened, and lives to be strengthened.

Daddy’d be proud knowing that prayers still rise up from that little kitchen.

Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should).” Visit to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.

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