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Beside Restful Waters

“Wow! How can a tree grow from that rock?”

A friend

Does this sound familiar?

Recently we discussed the observation of a six-foot corn stalk growing out of a crack in the pavement, and the sight of a tree growing out of a crack in a rock on the side of a mountain. This past week, while walking with a friend along Agawa Canyon in south-central Canada, she shared the same observation. How can this be? Where does the nutrition come from? How can life survive with so little apparent sustenance?

We shared our amazement. At the same time, while discussing a variety of spiritual perspectives, we recognized how much we had in common even though our spirituality was practiced under extremely different denominational titles. We have known each other for several years. However, during our initial meeting at a social gathering, she stated that “we don’t discuss religion or politics.”.


What happened today that opened the door to a discussion of spiritual perspectives? A tree growing from a rock? No.


Pain offered a moment of vulnerability that opened us to share about the wonder and awe of Creation, the Source of our universe, and the need for healing.

The pain was raw. The wounds were fresh. Our time was destined. Here We found the common ground for sharing. This is the way Spirit moves. But why now? What happened that we were both open at the same time?


How does one prepare for such a spontaneous interaction?

Well, for one, I believe we suffer. Each of us had suffered, one more recently than the other, but both of us had experienced pain.

For another, I believe that we both have a life of Spiritual preparation that makes us ready and available to such unplanned opportunities. I cannot specify her specific methods of preparation. Or, just maybe, I can offer a possibility. I am aware of the sources of her pain. I know that prayer was a communal response to her painful experience, as she has a vast family of friends and relatives. Yes, I believe that was a significant part of her preparation. During that time, she made herself vulnerable enough to reach out to her community, that is, she asked for help and support. Yes, she prepared. She asked for help.

My preparation was also one of prayer in response to her vulnerability. You also know of my practice of meditation and community connection. I know that these are just a few of the practices of preparation.

All of these practices, both hers and mine, ready our Spirits for the unplanned opportunities of connection and healing.


We both recognized that this brief interaction did not bring about the fullness of healing. Yet, we are both aware that this interaction offered each of us a step along the road to healing. We also recognize that healing is a lifetime journey. Certain pains will never completely disappear. However, these deep pains, when shared, ease a bit. When integrated into the healing of another, our individual pains become sacred, they take on purpose, they are moments of salvation.


Shared pain offered for the healing of another, is Grace. Our Higher Power, God, is present and glorified in these moments. I would submit that these are moments of salvation, as some would put it. I would put it that way. We, in the presence of our Higher Power – each other – offer moments of salvation born of agony and shared in grace.

How do you prepare?

Most simply, we show up. We make ourselves available to each other and allow our Higher Power – God – into the moment and healing occurs, salvation happens, grace happens. Yup, I believe it can be that simple. When this happens, we are beside restful waters.

We are beside restful waters.

We show up. We become available to salvation. We jump into the restful waters and just float in grace.


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