Sunday, September 18, 2005
Have you ever had something fly out at you from left field and completely take you off guard? Of course you have....we ALL have....it's part of life. Some of those things that surprise us are good.........others aren't. The water main that broke in my house this week and ruined all of my furniture and donations for the homeless, wasn't a good thing. It was totally unexpected, unprepared for, and most definitely, unwanted.
SSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........POW!!! Curveball...left field.
Some of the things that hit us unexpectedly are FAR more tragic though......far more deep and earth shattering for us. Things that scar us and drag us to the depths of grief and agony. Hurricane Katrina is a good example. It wasn't a good thing, it was somewhat expected...but not to the cataclysmic level of devastation that it caused...and it is VERY safe to say that it was unwanted by ALL.
PPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffttttttttttt..........**BOOM**!!!!! Cannon hit.........from behind.
What happens when we get hit out of the blue like that? Well....there are a few emotional and understandable possibilities.
Panic.......when everything goes into a slow motion dream state and you feel like you're watching a movie, because this couldn't possibly be happening.
Shock........when you step back for a moment, survey your surroundings or what's left of them, you realize it is happening and you're helpless to do anything to stop it.
Devestation.......when your mind and heart begin to tally the depth of the loss that sends you into a tailspin.
Hopelessness.......the process of being in that tailspin, as you see the ground rapidly approaching your face.
Anger.......the justifiable rage at HOW could this have happened, WHO is to blame, and WHO will make it right.
Peace...........what?!?! PEACE?!?!?!? That doesn't fit in here.....WHAT peace?? We're talking tragedy and loss here.....they don't go hand in hand in this discussion......................................or do they? Foreign concept, ISN'T it?
However, somewhere.....buried within each unexpected hit....no matter how tragic..how devastating...how much it brings you to the depths of agony that you never even knew could be felt by a human......SOMEWHERE....there is a scarlet chord of hope and purpose that will, IN TIME......give birth to peace.
For me, the peace this week was in knowing that despite all the loss in my home our insurance will help us rebuild and replace the material things that were destroyed.
For others it goes deeper. I'm sure you're thinking to yourself...how selfish of her...how callous and unfeeling to use Katrina as a comparison because, there is no good that's come out of it...NO peace. I beg to differ though.
Just this week I saw a story about a family who went through Katrina and have reached and anchored into their peace.
They are a loving, poor African American family who were already experiencing the pangs of desperation before they lost everything...well.....not everything. You see...for them, they will never mourn the losses of their home, their car, their jobs, their possessions, their pets or whatever else they lost.....in fact....they will look back at Katrina as a miraculous answer to prayer. How on earth could that be possible....we've all seen and heard the stories of tragedy on TV. Well........it's very simple.
Their son who was lying in the hospital dying, because he was in desparate need of a heart transplant, is now alive even though they were told there was no hope for him. How? Well....they were poor and had no money to pay for all the special things he needed to sustain him until a donor could be found. So they sat at his bedside on a death watch......waiting for the moment he would take his last breath.
Suddenly however, a miracle came their way in the form of hurricane Katrina. The hospital was evacuated and they along with their son were transported to a children's hospital in Texas, a hospital that specializes in heart transplants for children. Suddenly....in realizing that this family had lost everything, the government paid for a special flight to Germany, for the hospital staff to pick up and PAY for the very expensive device that was needed to save his life, and flew it back to Texas and inserted it into his body so he could live. Now, this family, who would have not only lost their beloved son, but all they had worked for in their lives...has been handed a scarlet chord of hope and PEACE. They will never regret the loss of their home....or their possessions....and they will never curse hurricane Katrina....hard as that is to believe....because out of the ash heap, they have been handed something beautiful....the life of their dear son.
We are all victims of unexpected circumstances at some point in our lives....some worse than others....but somewhere....buried deep within....there can be found peace.
What do I wish for you? What do I pray for you? I pray that whatever hits you....no matter how devastating....you find and grasp onto your scarlet chord of peace and let it lead you to the brightest blazes of gladness that lie somewhere beyond the tragedy of the moment.
~FG (I went by the pseudonym of FrannieGirl at the time, hence the FG)