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Lenten Meditation for Today: Being Aware of Being Spared

Being Aware of Being Spared:

A Chance to Savor God’s Creation and Your Place in It

The wake-up call for me was literally a wake-up call. Someone was calling my name as I gradually regained consciousness in a hospital. In a drowsy state that is familiar to anyone who has emerged from anesthesia after a medical procedure, I could grasp very little of what was being said.

I heard a voice saying, “car accident.” Then came a remark that stuck with me over the ensuing decades: “You’re lucky to be alive.”

I recently recalled that remark while reading a news account of the atmospheric rivers drenching California. In Malibu, a man had arrived home and planned to spend a few minutes in his car checking phone messages before unloading groceries. But then, a phone call from his girlfriend interrupted his routine.

Brannde Shanahan asked him to find a plaid tote that she had left in the house and bring it to her at work. Maurice Henao agreed, according to a Jan. 18, 2023 article in The Washington Post.

“He was grabbing Shanahan’s bag inside the house when he began hearing loud noises. He ran outside – and saw that a boulder had fallen off a nearby cliff and crushed his car, which he’d parallel-parked along Pacific Coast Highway… As Californians have experienced rockslides and flooding in recent weeks, Henao, 40, believes he’s alive because of Shanahan’s request.

“I skipped death,’ Henao told The Washington Post. ‘Taking a call like that, it was some kind of a divine intervention. It wasn’t my time to go.’”

The Toyota Prius was demolished by a four-foot boulder that struck above the driver’s seat, crushing the roof and shattering the window. “That was supposed to be me inside,” Henao thought. “I’m not supposed to be here.”

Henao works as the house manager for a rehabilitation center, and friends have raised money to help him pay for damage that insurance won’t cover. But he has focused less on the car and more on having a second opportunity to strengthen family relationships, reported Kyle Melnick of The Post. He wrote that Henao “has found a new appreciation for waking up each morning and listening to waves on his Las Flores Beach walks.”

My own close call came many years ago on a car’s passenger side and was far less dramatic than a landslide. Yet it prompted me to praise God and to take stock of life at that point and during subsequent reminders such as that in Melnick’s article.

Think of it as being aware of being spared.

~Submitted by Patricia

photo courtesy of The Washington Post

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