Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: National and Global Injustices

For Elijah Cummings, with Gratitude

How sad I never knew you –

Your full-throated voice thundered
Truth without apology or rancor
Within halls of justice and injustice
On streets and off streets
It really didn’t matter

You were a man with a mission
To heal what has been broken
Since the beginning of our time

Others with and without eloquence
Have spoken honorably of you —
The citizen I never knew
Yet counted on to be there
Someone we the people needed
In this hour of deafening bereavement
Now marked by your personal demise

What are we to do without you
Without your one-of-a-kind voice
Calling the shots loudly and boldly

WE the people must ultimately
Make the difference one day at a time
Give up our posturing
And begin again to make our way
Through this world in which
We too are no longer at home

Click here for more about Elijah Cummings.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 October 2019
Photo found at

riding the north wind

riding the north wind
a train whistle blows my way
chasing after clouds

I heard the train whistle Friday evening when D and I were out for a late evening walk. A welcome sound, since it meant we were in for priceless cool Canadian air (no tariffs involved) over the weekend. We’re just on the tail-end now, headed back toward hot and humid.

This morning I’m sorting things on my desk, littered with yesterday’s brilliant ideas and lists of things I mustn’t forget to do. I’m also anticipating this coming Friday’s open mic night at our church. I signed on to read several more of my poems. A happy prospect.

Most of all though, I’m watching myself and our world with an eye toward heaven and an eye on the ground. This morning I read Psalm 10, a cry from the heart for justice to prevail, with the wicked caught in the very traps they made and set.

I couldn’t help thinking about George MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind. God sends the North Wind here and there to stir things up. Not with calm, cool or pleasant outcomes for everyone, yet always for the good of this world God still loves more than we’ll ever understand.

Below are the last two verses of Psalm 10, from Today’s English Version

You will listen, O Lord, to the
prayers of the lowly;

You will give them courage.
You will hear the cries of the
oppressed and the orphans;
You will judge in their favor,
so that mortal human beings
may cause terror
no more.

This isn’t about a magic wand. It’s about us doing with our heart, hands, ears, eyes and feet the kinds of things for which we were created. And in whatever ways we’re able. A faithful, refreshing north wind of interest and engagement is just as feasible as a self-centered north wind of greed and hatred.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 July 2018
Image of the North Wind carrying Diamond found at

Little Things

After a long weekend without WiFi, everything is up and running today. Which means I have no excuse for not posting my heart out!

Over the weekend we had electricity, thanks to our generator, but no internet or telephone service. And since we’re total abstainers from smart phones, we had only our antiquated but perfectly fine cell phones to rely upon—though we must go outside most of the time to use them because our house is in a dead zone.

If you’re enjoying autumn or even winter-like weather, I want you to know we’re roasting along with countless others in a horrendous heat wave. Right now the temperature where we live is 97 degrees Fahrenheit, but it feels like 117 degrees Fahrenheit.

So now what? I’ve been thinking about the power of small things. The little things that, when seen from a certain angle, speak more loudly than all the words in the world. For example–

  • Fireflies in our back yard Friday evening as we sat on the back porch steps while D spent time on hold, waiting for various service representatives to help with our WiFi situation (help arrived Sunday afternoon). Nonetheless, it was a beautifully calm, not hot and humid evening. “We should do this more often!”
  • A little creature flitting about in the dusk—maybe a bat? We used to see hordes of them. They’re making a small comeback, though. Emphasis on small, and on hope.
  • A planet, I don’t know which one, setting on the southwestern horizon, dropping along the dark silhouette of an oak tree down the street. “Day is dying in the west; heaven is touching earth with rest….”

Here’s another example from our church bulletin on Sunday. Our Vacation Bible Camp children (about 200) collected offerings of their own money to help support a family in Nicaragua.

Here’s what their ‘loose change’ looked like at the end of the week:

  • 2956 pennies (1 cent each)
  • 439 nickels (5 cents each)
  • 701 dimes (10 cents each)
  • 818 quarters (25 cents each)
  • 5 dollar coins ($1.00 each)

Total: $331.11 – a reminder that even our worthless pennies and loose change are important in the economy of following Jesus. He gave what he had, even though it seemed very little, even useless, in the face of religious and political abuse of power.

Sometimes I wonder what I might do to become part of the solution. Especially to injustices that seem to have a vice grip on our nation and others. I feel small and lost when it comes to resolving deeply entrenched social and political problems.

In addition, it seems things are getting worse. Am I ready? If so, for what?

No answers. Nonetheless, my pennies count. What I see and say and point to matters. If not for anyone else, then for me. A small roadmap of where I’ve been, where I am today, and glimmers of where I’d like to be tomorrow.

For whatever it’s worth, your pennies count as well, along with what you see, say and point to. Especially when it comes from your heart.

Thanks for listening!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 July 2018
Top photo thanks to
Last photo thanks to

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