Monday, January 18, 2010

Things, Thoughts and Thanksgivings

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JANUARY 17: A women wa...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Saturday evening I actually set foot in a movie theater for the first time in probably 8 or 9 years. My spouse is not crazy about movies and I find my thirst for light entertainment more easily quenched by a few chick flick netflix movies than by a trip to the movies alone. Sparing my spouse the misery and in the company of one who knew the content would be light and the popcorn would be plentiful, I sat back and enjoyed.

The movie was indeed light and predictable, however, with points that often come up in literature, film, and as well as real life, "what would you save in a fire, are things truly necessities, and what's really enough?" The heroine found it easy to select between two potential heartthrobs by selecting the one who said he would save a cherished family possession (his Mother's ring) over the one whose cherished items' list included computers, Blackberries, expensive sound equipment, etc.

With not much more thought about the enjoyable Saturday night movie, my sis and I arrived to visit a church on Sunday morning in which neither of us had ever worshiped. As I settled into the pew I glanced at my right wrist and sucked in realizing that a treasured charm bracelet had disappeared somewhere between home and pew. I felt a little robbed, sad, and maybe a little tearful.....though once more sucking in and thinking - it was a bracelet, an adornment, granted one loaded with beautiful memories for places, family, and friends but it was just a thing!

In good "pew logic" I quickly found a way to minimize the over-dramatization of losing a charm bracelet. The situation and place I was in was warm, comfortable, beautiful. It was definitely not that of feeling earthquake tremors, or seeing my family lying in a curbside morgue; I was not without food, water and shelter. I was not wearing the last scrap of clothing I owned nor wondering if I would ever have a bed on which to sleep or a roof over my head. I was facing the loss of a sentimental bracelet!

Determined to worship and to hear the sermon and to count my blessings I had decided to place the loss in the back of my mind when my sis whispered, "Do you want to go back to the car and check?" I decided to do; it was only a minute you see I was still fretting a little in spite of my resolve. Sure enough, the bracelet was there on the floor of the car; pocketing it, I slipped back into my pew and gave thanks not for finding the bracelet but truly for the aid that has arrived in Haiti, the brave doctors, nurses and rescue teams, the aid on its way to Haiti and that which will continue to flow if we all remember that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves - to feed and clothe the hungry as Jesus would have done.

I would be telling a lie if I said I wasn't happy to find my bracelet but I do tell you the truth when I state how grateful I am that by accident of birth I am not personally in the midst of such devastating trauma - trauma that overshadows the news and our comfortable lives - the tragedy of Haiti and its people's survival. I continue to pray for the victims, dead as well as alive, and for the world's ability to stay focused on the aid needed for Haitians to survive a tragedy that by accident of their birth they are now facing.

Things, thoughts and thanksgivings - please pray for Haiti and help in whatever way you can.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. SS, A beautiful meditation and one that I will continually think about as I bring all of the people Haiti before the eyes of my heart this evening in prayer. I cannot fathom what is happening there and am grateful for the constant reminders to help in whatever way I can. I also can't help but feel grateful that you found your bracelet. : )


  2. P.s. Is there a way to view your collages in a larger format? I can't tell you how they speak to me.

  3. Thank you. I think every reminder for Haiti helps, and certainly every prayer does. To pray is to act is to give hope.

  4. I LOVE that you carry your gratitude for a small thing out to bigger things. Pema Chodron says we should treat our trials the same way, so that instead of trying to stifle the feelings by saying "you shouldn't worry about this when there are so many bigger problems in the world" you can take that energy and send comfort and support to all the others who are mourning losses, both great and small.

  5. drw@bainbridge - what a lovely response. it could very well have been written for my post today, "breaking open". i love the idea of not having to choose or try and place a value on our suffering (i.e. yours is greater than mine, or one is bigger than another). well said!!