Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: an invitation

Thirst

This August 2017 post caught my heart today. Perhaps it will catch yours. We seem to be running out of our hoarded resources. 

Thirst
consumes me
parches my soul
throttles energy
makes me wary
cautious
lest I lose
one precious drop

Hoarding
sets in like drought
grows and multiplies
invades every
vein in my body
sucks me dry
prepares me
for death

Gasping
I refuse
to relinquish
what is mine
by right and law
wrung from
this earth by
my own hands

Heedless
I rush headlong
into a desert
of my making

No one
looks my way
or offers
one precious drop

***

Here’s another option from the prophet Isaiah:

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me,
and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Isaiah 55:1-2 (New International Version)

I’ve been thinking about the way we seem to be turning inward. Supposedly protecting ourselves and our own, lest something terrible happens and we’re left high, dry and more vulnerable than ever. But I wonder.

Ironically, the best way to ensure disaster may well be to shut down our hearts and hang onto our assets, however meager they may be.

This isn’t about political parties, racial identity or religious beliefs. It’s about our common humanity. The capacity in each of us that’s capable of welcoming and providing hospitality to strangers. And the capacity to receive hospitality from others.

It isn’t easy. We’re never promised success, safety or survival for ourselves or others. We are, however, promised the satisfaction of receiving and passing on small bits of grace and gratitude. Some of those tiny drought-proof seeds that grow only when they’re given away.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 August 2017; reposted on 15 March 2021
Image found at feelgrafix.com

restless breeze and crackling trees

restless breeze
sends thistle seed soaring
goldfinches descend

crackling trees thud
chain saws muzzle morning calm
my friend walks her dog

Do you remember Janet Henfrey, the inimitable Weather Lady from As Time Goes By? She was fiercely dedicated to keeping things in order, including weather reports which she delivered regularly with precision, whether anyone cared to hear them or not.

Well, I can’t say things are in order today. I can, however, say that each haiku above captures my weather report from Saturday and Monday (today) morning walks through our neighborhood.

Despite the noisy chain saws that echoed everywhere this morning, catching sight of 85-year old Rita approaching in her brilliant orange raincoat and cap with her tiny dog Charlie was the best sight of all! I joined her and had a little catch-up chat.

In some ways, this neighborhood is my ‘parish.’ Or rather, our parish. A defined spot on the globe in which we go about our business. Passing the time of day with neighbors or workers outside, and visiting with friends inside. Sharing the common news and groaning or laughing together about all kinds of aches, joys and frustrations.

Then there’s that other ‘parish’ that’s just mine. That would be you, plus anyone else who reads this post from my little outpost on the planet.

Our pastor recently challenged us to name our parishes. The places where we ‘do our thing’ most of the time. So, given my lifestyle these days, you’re It! Whether you like it or not.

Please note: This isn’t a political platform. It does, however, touch the political realm from time to time. How could it not? We can hear the trees falling and the buzz-saws grinding away every day.

Nonetheless, when I get up each day, the news isn’t my guide to who I am or where I’m headed. You can count on me to remain a follower of Jesus Christ, no matter how much I falter.

I can’t say it often enough: I’m not God, and you’re not God.

You’re welcome here. It doesn’t matter what your name is, your country of origin, your political party, your wealth or lack thereof, your attitude toward current or past administrations, the state in which you live, the color of your voting district, the color of your skin, your gender, your age or your immigration status. Plus anything else I left out of that wildly incomplete list.

If you don’t agree with me, it’s OK. I’m not God and you’re not God. Which holds true whether you believe in God or not.

You are, however, wildly welcome to muddle along with me through whatever comes next.

Happy Monday!
Elouise

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 July 2018
Photo found at idlethoughts.blog

Leave your shoes at the door

Please, leave your shoes right here at the door—

  • Worn shreds of poverty and thrift
  • No-nonsense purveyors of roomy comfort
  • Ubiquitous symbols of status or station
  • Spiky towers of fashionable daring
  • Flashy billboards of wealthy pride
  • Rugged boots of ill-fated warfare
  • Proud symbols of ill-gotten gains
  • Hole-riddled soles of life gone sour
  • Toe-pinching restrictions of freedom and joy

Leave them all at the door just for today
and come, rest your aching and world-weary feet
on this dusty shared ground we call Mother Earth

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 September 2017
Photo of artwork found at etsy.com

A Child’s Prayer Revisited

Near to me,
not far away,
lies a world
where we can be
all that we
were meant to be.
Won’t you come
and go with me?

I wrote this prayer over two years ago. It gave voice to the little girl in me who wanted nothing more than to find a new beginning. To be all that I was meant to be.

I’m still that little girl. Changed on the inside and the outside, yet still Elouise.

And then there’s the world in which we live and die. Also changed, it seems, into an arena of avalanching disasters. Some beyond our control; others the consequences of our internal choices, overt actions, apathy or fear.

And so I hear this prayer differently today. It’s more pointed and demanding, though not in contradiction to my prayer back then. In fact, I’d say its truth is clear to me now in a way it wasn’t in February 2015.

It’s never a coincidence when the desires of our hearts are also the desires of our Creator’s heart. And so this little prayer isn’t really mine. I hear it today as our Creator’s prayer to us, offered and summed up in the earthly life and work of Jesus.

I imagine Jesus inviting all children everywhere to come close to him. It doesn’t matter how young or old we are. What matters is our willingness to stay close to Jesus.

Not our sweetness and light images of Jesus, but Jesus who makes his way through the pages of the Gospels. On his way to a world not far away. Engaged in one interruptive teaching and activity after another. Some verbal, some enacted and some lethal.

Yes, it’s costly. Jesus never promises it will be all sweetness and light. He does, however, promise to stand by us through thick and thin. Are we up to it?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 September 2017
Daily Prompt: Coincidence

Thirst

Thirst
consumes me
parches my soul
throttles energy
makes me wary
cautious
lest I lose
one precious drop

Hoarding
sets in like drought
grows and multiplies
invades every
vein in my body
sucks me dry
prepares me
for death

Gasping
I refuse
to relinquish
what is mine
by right and law
wrung from
this earth by
my own hands

Heedless
I rush headlong
into a desert
of my making

No one
looks my way
or offers
one precious drop

***

Here’s another option from the prophet Isaiah:

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me,
and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Isaiah 55:1-2 (New International Version)

I’ve been thinking about the way we seem to be turning inward. Supposedly protecting ourselves and our own, lest something terrible happens and we’re left high, dry and more vulnerable than ever. But I wonder.

Ironically, the best way to ensure disaster may well be to shut down our hearts and hang onto our assets, however meager they may be.

This isn’t about political parties, racial identity or religious beliefs. It’s about our common humanity. The capacity in each of us that’s capable of welcoming and providing hospitality to strangers. And the capacity to receive this from others.

It isn’t easy. We’re never promised success, safety or survival for ourselves or others. We are, however, promised the satisfaction of receiving and passing on small bits of grace and gratitude. Some of those tiny drought-proof seeds that grow only when they’re given away.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 August 2017
Image found at feelgrafix.com

evensong

wu-look-to-the-stars-bayshore-ny

no two alike
nature’s stately rhythms
offer evensong

***

stars and clouds emerge
against warm rays of a dying day
wind currents crisscross the heavens
swaying trees and fence genuflect
nature listens alert
dry grassy ground waits,
invites me into
the presence of my Maker

 © Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 February 2017
Photo found at Weather Underground – taken in Bayshore, New York
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Rhythmic

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