I recently saw the movie “The Impossible” and I highly recommend it. It is based on the true account of a family who experienced the Tsunami in Thailand in 2006. I found it very powerful in two related but separate scenes. SPOILER ALERT!
The first scene: mother and oldest son, washed away from the husband and two other sons, have struggled through the tsunami. She, in attempts to reach her son, is seriously wounded, having her leg torn open by a submerged tree branch as she was pushed/pulled along by the water. They finally ended up high in a tree, in safety. Local villagers find them, and take them to their village, having to drag her through the mud and devastation, in which she is crying out horribly in pain. When they get her to the village, they attempt to wash her, give her water, and get her some clothes. It was done with such tenderness. The mother just kept on repeating in a soft, incredibly weary voice “thank you!” while her son looked on anxiously.
Other scene: Father has been with the two youngest sons, they are all safe, but he is frantic to find his missing wife and son. He sends the two youngest sons with other adults to be safe while he continues his search. He sees a man with an operating cell phone, and he asks him if he could borrow it to call family. The man with the cell declines him (an American by the way) stating that his battery is going low. The father walks away dejected. Later he meets up with other people in the same predicament, searching among the chaos for missing family. One man has a cell phone too, with a low battery, the father promises he will keep it short, and calls family back in England to find out news. He breaks down on the phone, but keeps the call short, leaving his in-laws hanging, and hands the phone back. This man says that he can’t leave his in-laws hanging like that, and hands him back his phone to use. The look of the father of such gratitude was incredible, and says “thank you” to him,
Two scenes of extra-ordinary tenderness and love, and gratitude amid the horror of the tsunami. There were other smaller such scenes.
Such gratitude is the attitude I long for in my life. I never ever want to be in a horrible situation like that devastation, and have that help me finally attain such gratitude.
I know I can be spoiled, jaded, blind to such goodness that exists in my life. I am so blessed by so many people I forget to appreciate it.
Now, i have about 5 months left at St. Robs’s; don’t want to take anything for granted.
I think that a healthy spirituality must include that sense of wonder and awe for all that is present, and a sense that it is transient, never permanent. God is the only permanence.
People come and go; friendships bloom and fade; health is present one day and sickness comes the next. It is the passage of life.
Gratitude for this connects me and us to this life, and keeps me centered upon the act of living. Otherwise, I am too drawn into my own narrow life and vision.