Stricken

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I didn’t see her fall.

But as I rounded the corner on the Houston greenbelt trail that morning, I saw her then.  I stopped dead in my tracks, drawing a sharp breath.

She lay there, stricken.

Alarmed, I broke into a trot. Even as I advanced quickly towards her, the thought came to me, unbidden, Mygod, even fallen, she’s beautiful.

I didn’t know whether the storm that blew into her life had hit her with a violent, unexpected force, or if she just -- after holding on as long as she could as tightly as she could -- simply let go.

I laid my hand lightly upon her, as I exclaimed softly, “Oh, you’ve fallen!”

I scanned her quickly from head to foot, looking for evidence of injury. I found none. To my surprise, under my hand I felt life pulsing through her, strong and whole and well.

“Wow,” I said to her. “You’re beautiful. And as strange as this is, you’re OK. I can feel it.”  She whispered then, a soft sighing sound, the sound of a breeze rustling through leaves, and there was a shimmery movement of sunlight about her head.

They were coming.

I looked up to see them coming. Familiar dark eyes in dark-skinned faces. Smiling white teeth. Coming for her in a cheerful little red truck.

“Ah. They’re coming for you,” I encouraged her.  Then, impulsively, “I’m so glad I got to see you first!”

I patted her gently before I removed my hand. “Good bye,” I said.

She thought she was going to be a tree on one of the Houston greenbelt trails -- but that was not her destiny. Turns out, she’s going to have a different adventure. She's going to be Living Earth Houston Mulch, made from trees “collected in Houston, processed and packaged in Houston and returned to beneficial reuse in Houston.”

She will grace a yard who needs her. Flowers will grow in her midst. It was the storm that made it so. And it was the fall, after all, that released her to her destiny.

And I wonder --

Do you think, when unexpected, forceful circumstances strike US and we come crashing down -- Or when we’ve held on as tightly as we can for as long as we can and then give way -- Do you think that as WE lay fallen across the path –

Do you think before He whispers, "You're okay. And Help is coming," The-One-Who-Made-Us remarks to Himself,

 “Ahhhh. Even fallen, she’s Beautiful!”

I think He does.

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I hope you are feeling Well today. If you are, please be watchful. And if you round a corner and find someone fallen, Please lay a gentle hand upon her. Affirm to her that she is going to be okay. Tell her she’s beautiful. Tell her Help is coming

BUT ALSO

If you are NOT feeling Well today -- If you feel that YOU lie fallen across your path instead of moving forward on it--

Let me say this to you

You are okay. You're beautiful. Life pulses through you. You are Strong. You are Well and Whole.

Help is coming.

You are moving on to an adventure you did not expectbut one you will love, all the same.

An adventure that would not have occurred

without the fall.