Teach us to number our days
One year ago I celebrated a birthday. Today I’m celebrating birthday #73, yet it feels as though decades have passed since 20 November 2015.
I’m writing this on Saturday evening. A cold front is moving in, and a strong, cold gusty wind is already whirling around in the dark. Tomorrow promises to be a blustery day.
Did you ever read The Winds of War? That’s what I thought about when the first gust hit our house. We’d just come back from a late walk. The dark clouds were already rolling in, after another beautiful sunset that highlighted brilliant red-leaf maples.
It made me think about the sudden change in the mood of our country. I like having truth out in the open, though not as naked as it sometimes has been. I don’t, however, like living with the contentious lack of clarity we’ve had during the presidential campaign.
As a Democrat (who has very occasionally voted Republican), I’ve enjoyed eight years of having a Democrat in the White House. Not just any Democrat, but the first African-American President we’ve ever had. A man of character, pragmatic and measured, approachable, calm and straightforward in moments of national pain.
Even though the Congress didn’t get much accomplished, I still felt our President had my back. Not that it made me nonchalant. It didn’t. Instead, it gave me added courage to speak my mind.
Then last fall and early spring my heart began acting up, I got a pacemaker, and I broke my jaw. Suddenly everything was out of sync, including my sense of who I am and why I’m here. To top that off, the presidential campaign created an upheaval we still don’t understand.
I’m grateful for the outcome of my health issues. Though I don’t like them, I do love pacemaker Queen Lucy! However, my health issues challenge me to switch gears daily, putting my health first and everything else down the line or out the door. Something I never had the guts to do in the past.
Given this forced focus on my health, and the shock of not being ‘covered’ by a President for whom I voted, I have a renewed sense of mission. It hasn’t changed in its essence. It has, however, changed the way I live out my mission each day: to tell the truth about God, about myself, and about this world God loves so much.
We have a hard road ahead of us as a nation. I don’t like the outcome of the election. I do, however, welcome the reality that we are visibly vulnerable to stresses and ambiguities that affect countries all over this world. We’re in the boat, so to speak, with most of this world God loves so much. What better place to begin telling the truth?
So…What does it mean for me to be a faithful, 73-year old follower of Jesus and a faithful 73-year old citizen of the USA? I look forward to finding out.
Thanks so much for your faithful reading and encouragement. And thanks to God for giving me 73 years of life. Not a sheltered life, but a real life that connects me with real people just like you.
Take heart, tell the truth (especially about yourself), love God with all your heart and your neighbor as you love yourself! Our days are numbered.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 November 2016
Photo found at saija.blogspot.com