Surely goodness and mercy….
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day; yesterday’s post is still on my mind. I’m grateful for the poem that was in me, grateful for words to tell you about this episode in my professional life, and grateful to be who I was and still am. A tough old cookie. A highly sensitive and intuitive wise woman. A thriver. A persistent woman who won’t sit down and shut up. Or stand up and perform on command.
I didn’t get here by myself. I got here thanks to scores of women and men who saw in me more than I could see in myself. I also got here thanks to my Creator, my true Parent from the beginning, walking with me and watching my back.
Following a well-earned sabbatical leave and peaceful summer break, I was on my way to the seminary for the first day of fall term. Several students who protested against me a year earlier were likely to show up in my required course.
To say I was anxious would be an understatement. Yet here’s what happened next, as described in the semi-memoir I began writing during my sabbatical.
I stopped at a traffic light and waited for it to change. Two older men, perhaps in their seventies, were coming down the sidewalk, facing me. They were out for an early-morning walk. They moved along quickly, talking and laughing. The sun was up. It was a gorgeous day.
As they came closer, I noticed they were holding hands. This seemed rather unusual. But it was also wonderful. My mind turned to friendships among older men. I wondered how long these men had known each other and whether they walked together every day.
Suddenly, without any signal and without breaking their stride, they left the sidewalk and began walking through a large parking lot. They seemed to be of one will. As they angled away from the sidewalk, I saw it for the first time—the short leather strap they were holding between them. One of them was blind.
In a flash my eyes filled with tears. I saw myself walking blindly into this class. Seeing some things, but not everything. Knowing someone with sight beyond my sight was beside me. All I had to do was follow God’s lead, keep holding on to the strap and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Elouise Renich Fraser, excerpt from Confessions of a Beginning Theologian, p. 132, Intervarsity Press 1998
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life….”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 November 2017
Photo of shepherd boy playing flute to sheep found at nikisawyer.com
Daily Prompt: Mercy