by Aundria Sheppard Morgan
Lifeline-- (1) an anchored line thrown as a support to someone falling or drowning; (2) a means or route by which necessary supplies are transported.
--The American Heritage Dictionary
Sometimes lifelines slip.
Sometimes the person reaching out loses her grip. Battle weary, she's unable to hold on. Or grasping the line, it cuts into her palms, wrenches her shoulder. At other times the savior falters. A dangerous setting, a gust of wind, another cry for help or her own cries of distress distract; she slackens the line. Perhaps deep down she doubts the mission. Or she has grown weak from repeatedly tossing out and towing in the line--often alone.
Sometimes lifelines slip. Here, we let go when a new cry goes up. We often lose the one, in our frenzy to save thousands. Caught up in the emotion of the moment--the spotlight that validates the latest tragedy and by default negates yesterday's tears--we follow the media rather than our heads and hearts. We allow others to dictate who is worth saving and who is not; others decide who is our miracle and who can stumble, fall, die.
Sometimes lifelines slip when today we forget what wrenched our hearts yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. We move on before we can heal or help others heal. We paint smiley faces and write happy endings. We forward feel good e-messages, blogs, texts, tweets. We manufacture hope on fresh graves and barely cold bodies. We turn the page, flip the channel, then are outraged when the unthinkable happens again and again and again.
Sometimes lifelines slip. But we can change our pattern, alter our history, and learn from pain-filled mistakes. Let's shore up the lifelines and pull ourselves and each other to a true place of healing.