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Giving Thanks

March 5, 2011

It’s been a hard week.

“Harmful or fatal if swallowed”

The words struck fear in my heart. My little just-3 boy standing in my tub with an open shampoo bottle at his feet. Open bottles on the counter including one that read those horrible words.

Rush to phone. Dial poison control.

Toddler toddles.

No worries, ma’am. He’ll be ok. Maybe nauseous but fine. How can he be so calm?

Shampoo burps . . .

Next day, same one climbs on furniture at a friend’s house to capture a vitamin C drop high out of reach–spotted from the stairs. Ingenious, but obviously didn’t learn the lesson of the day before.

Then the day that stopped my heart cold.

Down my in-laws driveway to drop off  “spend the night” clothes–find at the end two police cars.

Father-in-law breathing hard. I open the car door. “Is everything ok?”

“Jude is missing.”

“No, we found him” says the officer.

That second between the lost and the found have taken time from my life.

His brother had found him hiding beneath the couch where he had fallen asleep and not heard the ever-more desperate cries.

He was safe the whole time.  He was safe the whole time. He was safe the whole time.

I keep telling myself that because thankfully he really was. He was never in harm’s way. He was never in danger even though no one knew that at the time.

For every breath of thanks I know that I cannot just be thankful and happy because it worked out like I wanted it to. True gratitude trusts the giver for the gift whatever it may be.  I have been reading Ann’s book this week–the hard eucharisteo–the giving thanks in the midst of loss, of why God why?

A long time ago a friend told me the story of his son nearly drowning in a hotel pool. He told me how when his son was pulled safe from the water he heard God ask him, “What if I hadn’t saved him? Would you still give me thanks?” That’s the really hard thing, isn’t it?

Would I still thank him if my son had swallowed enough of the bad things, had hurt himself reaching for the forbidden, had wandered off and fallen into danger?  Could I still call Him good? Would I?

I have a dear friend who has lost her daughter this week in a very difficult series of circumstances.  Yet does she praise Him.

Here is the thing–I’ve written of it before–God is sovereign.

Here is the other thing– “He was always safe.” Even if it wasn’t in this world.

I wouldn’t say I am happy right now. I am so thankful that my son is safe and sound and sleeping in the next room, but with every thanks comes a reminder of the what could have been.

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” –Job 1:21

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny O. permalink
    March 6, 2011 9:55 am

    I am so glad he is OK. I got teary eyed reading this post, thinking about you guys being so scared, and of the times my children have done similar things and not been “safe.” Thanks for sharing.

  2. March 6, 2011 8:41 pm

    Hard, true words. I am thankful that your son is safe and sound and sleeping, too. Thank you for your thoughts and exaltation of what matters most.

    Ring true,

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