Another View

Yellow flowers sway on the stems of bushes whose names I do not know in gardens of other flowers and shrubs of Rosemary and Mexican Fan-Palms and large chunks of purple, volcanic stone.  The cement is gray like the January sky and the blue of the water is calm with no breeze ripples.  The handle on the black and iron gate clinks with its signature sound as the rod slides back in the guide; the gate swings open and my oldest walks in.  He stood without for several minutes calling my name, or Mommy’s name…. “Let me in!”

 

Peach, white, and yellow paint chips were sealed in the garage floor and the smell of gear oil and fiberglass and tools hung in the air.  The large, black wheel with its pedals still…I don’t know what color the ‘Big-Wheel’ was.  The not tiny, but small form of my second son lay floating in the corner of the pool – beautiful, blue water, not moving.  I was wearing my brown corduroy overalls and I consciously ran to the other side of the pool instead of jumping into its February chill.  Did I grab his arm or his body?  I don’t know.  I clutched him to my body and yelled “Oh my God!  Oh Shit!”  I saw the gray sky and the garage in the rear of the neighbor’s yard.  “Oh my god!”  This can’t be happening…what would I do with only two sons?  I pounded on his back then lay him on the gray, cement patio…blew into his mouth…turned him over again…why isn’t he holding his head still?  His forehead banged on the cement as I turned him over.

 

His mom was hysterical…long, blonde hair, panic-stricken face, gray eyes, red face, screaming, hitting herself…starting her period as her soul clenched down upon itself inside…and the blank, gray eyes, wide open…I wondered what they saw.  I wonder what they saw.  What was his almost two-year-old mind thinking?  What rush of terror-induced hormones were crashing through his body as he sank below the air into the beautiful, blue water?  As he was floating when I found him, how much air was in his lungs?  The water being so cold would have caused him to gasp-in the air as he fell into it.  Maybe that’s what saved him.  And how many minutes had passed?

 

And where was God?  This is when I first began to doubt.  All I wanted was to be closer to Him…and He ran away.  He became less.  Bad happens to the good and the bad alike.  Then why pray…why pray if He isn’t going to listen anyway…?

 

2 responses

  1. Tough but brave posting friend, thanks for sharing this.

    It’s funny, because I have been pondering the idea of prayer lately, then you wrote this. It seems to me that, assuming God exists and is who we define Him as, that prayer is really useless. Prayer assumes that you can change God’s mind or somehow influence His decision making. That places limits and imperfection upon God. Not possible. Therefore, prayer is only relevent when giving prayers of thanks.

    All prayer does, in my opinon, is give us the illusion of hope and ease our minds, until our prayers are answered with ‘no’ – then we become disillusioned; however, in this case ‘He’ said ‘yes’….

    With that said, and in the spirit up sparking good conversation, I am going to play devil’s advocate here.

    Do you not agree that some would argue that your prayers were answered when your boy was saved by your hand rather than the alternative? God may not have kept him from falling in, but assisted you in preserving his life?

    Again…devil’s advocate here, keeping in mind my stance on God and religion.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    • seekraz

      I, too, had been contemplating prayer, Jason, but in the context of a headline I saw on CNN last week…one of their reporters was doing a piece on ‘prayer and losing weight.’ Given that I was at work and could only watch the news, as opposed to actually listening to it, I watched the reporter interviewing a group of larger Black women about praying to lose weight. I snickered to myself at the absurdity and then thought of the opposing football teams that huddle in prayer before and after their championship games…wondering at the abuses we throw at our gods…the simple-minded requests for personal gain or using ‘Him’ as a support or ‘crutch’ to get us through the rough times…like meeting our New Year’s resolution of losing a few or several pounds. And then I thought of the guy I read about on AOL News who started a web-site where people pay him and his co-workers to pray for them…the guy was an agnostic, but he had Christian staff members who did the actual praying…wonderful. Your commentary on the subject is thought provoking, as always. I will look forward to seeing it in blog form!

      And yes, I predicted that if anyone besides you and my one son were to offer anything in response to this article, and given that they were or might be of a religious slant, they might suggest that God made or caused me to come out of the garage at that precise moment and find my son and it was really His breath of life that I breathed into my son causing him to live again…. Yes, a Christian or similar believer might offer those things…and they might actually be correct, which I doubt. And God might have seen all those years ago when I was in the Boy Scouts that someday I would have a drowned son, so He arranged for me to learn and remember CPR…and then He might have arranged for me to have taken my annual refresher class on CPR in the USAF only a few weeks before this day and pay particular attention to giving CPR to infants…and He might have beckoned to my older son to call me into the yard at the precise moment when I had to be there to rescue my blue baby from the January pool…He might have done all those things…but why didn’t He just prevent my little one from driving into the pool in the first place? Or why didn’t He cause me to be outside and available earlier to have seen to it that I caught him before he plunged into the water, or took him to the park, or took him for a walk…or kept him inside the house…or anything else? Furthermore…given that He’s supposed to know everything that’s going to happen, why did He allow this to create the first really hot spark of doubt in my mind…and then allow that doubt to grow into a conflagration of active disbelief?

      Thank you, Jason, for the comments and opposing perspective. 🙂

      January 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

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