Discovering this idea of the Grace-World has been one of my biggest turning-points. It hasn’t been difficult to maintain, because Grace is just there. It doesn’t require me to struggle or talk it up.
It’s got me through Christmas, the holidays, family staying over, hot summer days, stuff not working out, and this week it’s getting me through the aftermath of witnessing a drowning.
A local teenage boy, swimming and jumping off the bridge where my girls were also jumping. He was landed on in the water by another jumper, and did not come back up. The water was so deep and the outgoing tide so strong that no-one could find him in time.
We watched as swimmers and boats searched for five, then ten, then fifteen minutes. His friends finally found him and were able to bring him to shore. We then watched as paramedics worked for almost an hour to revive him. We watched as his friends and family began to grieve. And we grieved with them, from further back. The grief of a community who has lost a young man.
The tension caused by the mixture of despair and hopefulness was massive – ‘Surely it’s too late, he’s been under too long, but the paramedics are still going, so maybe….’ As was the disbelief that a young man was alive, and then not.
I think this will stay with me for a long time yet.