Falling into Grace

Blog by Sr. Jeanne Moore

“Grateful-Grateful—Gratefulness—is flowing from my heart.”  The refrain the gospel choir frequently sings in my nearby African-American parish underscores my remembrances and narratives about a fall that necessitated a recent trip to the ER.  My feet somehow entangled themselves in a neighborhood grocery cart.  I fell backward, my head bouncing once with a sickening, terrifying thud on the parking lot, my left elbow absorbing part of the impact.

Immediately folks of all ages, genders and ethnicities rushed to my assistance, retrieving my purse and two small bags; offering help in getting me upright, a chair inside the store, a glass of water, a bag of ice for the knot on the back of my head.  Their empathy palpably cushioned my distress.

Dismissing their repeated offers to call for an ambulance, I phoned Sr. `Mary Ann Culotta.  She immediately changed her plans and drove me to the ER.  The medical team kindly tended my bruises and, within an hour, tendered the good news: a scalp contusion (bruise), not a brain concussion.  Sr. Ceal Warner retrieved my car.  What an unexpected but gratefully received conclusion to a day that began with our leisurely morning in St. Bernard civil parish. While driving to swamp-surrounded Shell Beach I shared my original EMD congregation’s 60+ year history of ministry in three parishes, my current monthly faith formation sessions with a small group there, and the availability of a lovely home for private retreats.

Mary Ann told of falling outside a bank in San Francisco when she was a graduate student several decades back.  She said, “I felt like I was invisible.  Not one person offered to help me.”  How vastly different my experience!  My white hair was surely not the crucial factor in our disparate experiences.  I’m inclined to credit southern hospitality, New Orleanians’ innate religiosity, and my nearby Dominican sisters, for the redemption I was granted.  What a gift to be able to name and sing about the falls into grace that uphold each of us through our daily ups and downs.

Posted in Just Reflecting

9 responses to “Falling into Grace

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story — and for being with “our” people in an area so familiar to a number of us. By now I hope your poor head is feeling lots better.

  2. Sr. Jeanne,
    Grateful that your fall didn’t result in serious injury. Southern hospitality still exists, and you accepted it with gratitude and grace Praying for you and all the good Samaritans.who came to your aid.

  3. Thank you Jeanne for sharing your story and the gifts of gratitude, kindness and compassion you felt. I would add your angels were with you. I am sure you have done the same for someone in your life’s journey as well.

    Adding my prayers for healing and comfort to you.

  4. It is always scary to experience a fall. Glad it was not anything serious. Glad to hear that we are still in touch with the missions of the EMDs. I spent a number of years down in that area.
    Peace, Corina

  5. You were and are blessed. How quickly we can all fall, and hopefully, into grace ,,, with little physical harm. Blessings.

  6. All I can say is Gracias a Dios you only had minor injury and not anything more serious. Ah, yes, thank God for compassion shown , which we sometimes forget there is still some out there! Lets us continue to keep looking for and acknowledging those small signs of love and compassion we experience every day and not focus only on the negative (which is very real) we are experiencing in our Country right now.

  7. What a wonderful story of falling into grace and Southern hospitality! I am glad that you were not seriously hurt.

  8. May we all fall into grace to help anyone we see who needs our help. Thanks for sharing your beautiful blessings. Glad you are OK although probably a bit sore. Heal quickly with our prayers.

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