silent drowning

friends become family joined us for a cool fall evening.  we surrounded a worn wooden table, filled with good food handing us off to good conversation

our four young children were here and there. coming back to hurry one more chip into their mouths, then off into play…weaving stories between them full of heroes and princesses with the occasional hidden, surprising beast to fight against.  five minute adventures, repeated.

suddenly prompted,  R glances over to see one and a half years alive D underwater.  she screamed the word “mom” and we were wrenched into motion.

misty got there first, her hands clamping onto him.  hurt didn’t matter. only air.  getting him free from the blanket of water covering him…

my hands chased hers and i encircled all twenty-five pounds of cold winter wet and him…solid, alive him.

water and relief soaked me and we both cried. me grown up tears holding hysteria hostage. him the cries of a child who has hurt and fear to release, to pour out into a safe place.

what i remember most…

just before misty reached him,  his eyes wide open met mine.  his body was still…facing up. there was no struggle. no sound. a memory branded on my mother heart forever.

none of us noticed D as he slipped underneath the water just yards and feet away.  he went from joy and motion and life to nearly none of that in moments.

there are people in trouble all around us. it’s taking longer, but their joy and belief and life are slipping away.with no struggle to catch our attention..no noise.

that night my heart broke at what inattention could have cost me.

so i keep asking god to set off alarms in my heart.  to call my name…so i can grab and pull and lift and hold.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.    I John 3:16-18 (ESV)

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