Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: a follower of Jesus Christ

Crossings of No Return – revisited

Has everything changed with Covid-19? This post from January 2017 reminds me that some things never change.

Crossings….

The word resonates with finality
Hints of danger and uncertainty
Sorrow and desperation
Weary clothes and
Hungry faces

One foot in front of the other
Backs burdened with life’s necessities
Bodies and bellies heavy
With tomorrow’s children
Silently pleading

They say our world is disappearing
Melting and boiling away before our eyes
Erupting into a chaotic crisis
Unknown in modern times
Are we ready for this crossing?

What lies ahead for this world and for us as citizens of this world? Our insular, isolated, boundaried ways of life don’t work well anymore, and our ways of governing seem to have reached their own point of no return.

Years ago I crossed a line of no return. I chose to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t believe there’s a magic wand answer for any of this world’s upheavals. Yet I do believe we see a direction in the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ. Not the superstar, but the human being sent to this earth to live and to die as one of us and as God’s beloved son.

Jesus made a crossing of no return when he came to live with and among us. He wasn’t president, emperor or chief. Nor was he a privileged member of the religious or political elite, or a child of God immune to human emotions and agony.

His life was short. Yet in his short life I find a direction that hasn’t changed even with our current global upheavals. Taking my cues from Jesus, I’m to love God, my neighbors and myself. Acknowledge my human limitations and need for others. Be ready to accept and offer hospitality from and to strangers. Bear the cost and share the compassion of being a follower of Jesus Christ.

Do I feel strong? Rarely. Do I feel ready? Rarely. Do I feel like giving up? Sometimes. Yet the steady, courageous, compassionate and steel-eyed clarity I see in narratives about Jesus’ life on this earth remains my True North. The one point on my compass that won’t change no matter what it takes to get from here to there.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 January 2017, lightly edited and reposted on 5 May 2020
Photo of South American immigrants found at nytimes.com

Still Learning to Pray

learning-to-pray-by-talking-less

Today is a quiet day. Not because I’m sick, but because I need to take care of myself. So I’m revisiting several books on prayer. Why? Because current events in the USA tug me this way and that way. Sometimes I feel as though I’m wandering, lost in the trees. Uncertain how to pray or how that might help my focus from one day to the next.

Here’s what I’m certain of today.

  • The human confusion into which I was born multiples daily, and isn’t going away of its own accord. Ever. There are things I’d like to undo and re-do in this world and in myself. I want us to sort things out and be good neighbors. Yet I fear it isn’t going to happen, even though we’re all part of God’s good if not perfect creation, and need each other to survive.
  • Human confusion seems to have a life of its own. It feeds on itself, creating ever-more-shocking statements, behaviors, attitudes and reactions. It thrives when we’re fearful and distracted. On guard. Looking over our shoulders as we try to figure out what just happened, and miss what’s already brewing for tomorrow.
  • In my small world, confusion shows up in anguish about what I’m to do from one day to the next. I’m not utterly lost or clueless; yet I don’t feel grounded in a clear approach to what’s happening around me. I don’t have a clear goal for each day that calms my heart and helps shape my actions. I often feel uncertain and lost, especially when I start checking out tantalizing, infuriating headlines that pop up every minute of the day.

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about prayer. Granted, our pastor is preaching about it every Sunday, so it’s difficult not to think about it! At the same time, I wonder how I am to pray, given confusion around and within me.

I used to think once I learned to pray, I’d have it all figured out. As though it were like theology. I think about theology as dialogue with Scripture, traditional documents, other conversation partners, the newspaper and my experience as a woman. It works!

However, when I consider prayer, my major dialogue partners have been God or Scripture or what my parents or the church told me to do. The newspaper has been a secondary partner. And though I’m aware of myself as this woman (not just any woman), I haven’t figured out how that shapes my approach to prayer. Sometimes I fear there’s something wrong with me–even though I know there is not.

So I’ve decided to look into this and begin writing about it from time to time. I want to live boldly with the courage of my convictions, as this follower of Jesus Christ who is this woman living in these troubled times. Somehow, I believe my dilemma about prayer lies at the center of my anguish about who I am and how that shapes my prayers from day to day. Especially now.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 February 2017
Photo found at parentingupstream.com

Crossings of No Return

Crossings….

The word resonates with finality
Hints of danger and uncertainty
Sorrow and desperation
Weary clothes and
Hungry faces

One foot in front of the other
Backs burdened with life’s necessities
Bodies and bellies heavy
With tomorrow’s children
Silently pleading

They say our world is disappearing
Melting and boiling away before our eyes
Erupting into a chaotic crisis
Unknown in modern times
Are we ready for this crossing?

I can’t help wondering what lies ahead for this world and for us as citizens of this world. Our insular, isolated, boundaried ways of life don’t work well anymore, and our ways of governing seem to have reached their own point of no return.

Years ago I crossed a line of no return. I chose to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t believe there’s a magic wand answer for any of this world’s upheavals. Yet I do believe we see a direction in the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ. Not the superstar, but the human being sent to this earth to live and to die as one of us and as God’s beloved son.

Jesus made a crossing of no return when he came to live with and among us. He wasn’t president, emperor or chief. Nor was he a privileged member of the religious or political elite, or a child of God immune to human emotions and agony.

His life was short. Yet in his short life I find a direction that hasn’t changed even with our current global upheavals. Taking my cues from Jesus, I’m to love God, my neighbors and myself. Acknowledge my human limitations and need for others. Be ready to accept and offer hospitality from and to strangers. Bear the cost and share the compassion of being a follower of Jesus Christ.

Do I feel strong? Rarely. Do I feel ready? Rarely. Do I feel like giving up? Sometimes. Yet the steady, courageous, compassionate and steel-eyed clarity I see in narratives about Jesus’ life on this earth remains my True North. The one point on my compass that won’t change no matter what it takes to get from here to there.

What does this look like day by day? It’s all in my outlook. Each encounter might become an opportunity to ask for help or to offer help as I’m able and ready to identify myself as a follower of Jesus Christ. Most important, I’m not a savior. I’m another human being who won’t make it in this life on her own.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 January 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Crossing

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