December 5, 2020

To be lifted up carefully and carried out of confinement

Cricket. Photo by Mark Robinson

When I woke up this morning, before I’d gotten out of bed, I was looking around to see what was going on in my room. Not much was going on, I’m happy to say. But there was a cricket on the glazed stone floor. He didn’t belong in the room. Crickets don’t belong in rooms. I looked at him and decided to give him a helping hand, so I picked him up as gently as I could so as not to either alarm him or hurt him, and I carried him out into the sunshine. And he hopped away to do whatever crickets do, where they belong. And I thought to myself, that’s what it’s all about: to be lifted up carefully and in a way not to frighten us, to be taken out of the confinement of the room where we’re locked away from where we belong, and to be carried out into the fresh air.

• Frederick Buechner
“The Gates of Pain”

• • •

From A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory
By Frederick Buechner
Zondervan (2017)

Photo by Mark Robinson at Flickr. Creative Commons License


  1. What? No comments?

    Thanks for sharing this, CM.

    • Ronald Avra says

      My experience is that some days I definitely can tell that I have been picked up and carried outside into fresh air, and other days I feel as though I’m trapped and will never see daylight. Today is a mixed lot.

      • Almost all the time I feel like I’m falling, not being lifted up; some days it feels like a bumpier ride than others.

        • “Please come now
          I think I’m falling
          I’m holding to all I think is safe
          It seems I found the road to nowhere
          And I’m trying to escape
          I yelled back when I heard thunder
          But I’m down to one last breath
          And with it let me say
          Let me say…
          Hold me now
          I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
          That maybe six feet
          Ain’t so far down”

          Knock these guys all you want, but this is a great song…

          • I agree. I like the song. I think they were criticized for sounding too much like Pearl Jam, but their best songs were quite distinctive, and moving.