Gravel in my mouth

gravel in my mouth“Without revelation and reframing, life can seem like an endless desert of danger with scratchy sand in your shoes, and yet if we remember or are reminded to pay attention, we find so many sources of hidden water, so many bits and chips and washes of color, in a weed or the gravel or a sunrise. There are so many ways to sweep the sand off our feet. So we say, “Oh my God. Thanks.” —Anne Lamott, [1]

Life’s like that. Things happen. We choose to turn one way over another, or life takes us there. If we pay attention early on we might course correct. We can even find the grace. Mostly, however we stumble along until we find ourselves in the desert of danger — a place so very far from the safety of our truth. I love what Anne Lamott says about finding sources of hidden water in the gravel. What imagery.

A few years ago my child had a close brush with death. She’s wasn’t a child, really. She was almost 22, traveling abroad. But when a car spins out of control on a gravel road and not only slams into a two-room cinder block house, but knocks out a wall of that house where a poor family with eleven children live, and the place where I sit while I listen to my daughter weep is 4,175 miles away, and when she mentions the gravel from the impact filling her mouth, I want to swaddle my grown up baby girl in a blanket and hold her close to my chest.

Gratitude. My child and her dear friends and the eleven children and their parents, everyone was okay. And when she proceeded to speak of the unfathomable kindness of the family whose home was nearly destroyed, and of their invitation to my child and her friends to eat dinner—to break bread—with them, I reframed the miracle. This is how we are to act.

Oh my God. Thanks.


[1] Anne Lamott. Help, Thanks, Wow. Riverhead Books, New York City. 2012. page 53.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing. Great story of kindness. Sometimes those are the only prayers we can come up with.


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