Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: November 2020 Elections

Dear Mr. Trump, | 2017 revisited

This morning I woke up wondering how much longer we can survive as one nation. Making it to November’s election feels sketchy. Here’s what I wrote in September 2017. 

Dear Mr. Trump,

I woke up today wanting you to know that I’m praying for you, and how I’m praying for you. Hence this open letter.

As I see it, we have two kinds of leaders in the USA: those elected to office, and those who elect them. Clearly, given your electoral college votes, you won the vote, and were duly sworn in last January as President of the United States.

We, as unelected citizens, are also leaders. Did we not go to the polls and exercise our guaranteed right to lead by casting our votes? No matter who wins the election, we citizens lose if we vote carelessly or not at all, assuming we’re given a fair opportunity. We also lose if we fall back into apathy or cynicism and wait things out. Or try to take things into our own hands.

As a follower of Jesus, I am exhorted to pray for you as the President of the USA. I can’t say ‘my’ President, because you serve all of us.

As our President, you have visible power and office. That means you have access to your executive pen, the bully and praise pulpit, the power to hire and fire designated people, and a stage that magnifies your voice far beyond what it would be if you were not President of the USA.

As President, you might be tempted to think you’re in control, or that you can change or ignore situations to your liking. Or at least do what you can to make things more comfortable for you and yours. You might also want people to like you. Especially the people to whom you made promises. You might even hope for some to hate and fear you.

And so I pray for you the way I pray for myself as a citizen leader. I pray you and I will let go of our desires for power and control, esteem and affection, safety and survival, and especially the desire to change situations not in our control. The most important thing you can do is lead well, as the follower of Jesus you say you are. Which would be the most important thing I can do, as well.

Right now, even though it’s stormy, you’re a mighty visible oak. Still, tree rot often begins on the inside. Then one day, often without warning, the mighty visible oak crashes to the ground, often taking with it trees close to the mighty oak.

Gone. Not with a whimper, but with a resounding earthquake that travels to the other side of the world and back, creating tsunamis and chaos in its wake.

I like to think of us citizens and residents of the USA as tiny acorns that survive. Not all of us will make it. But the future does lie with us, doesn’t it? Which is why I can’t pray for you alone.

Please know that we’re trying to make as much sense of life as we can, hoping and praying you will grow into your office one day at a time, one step at a time. No matter the cost to your personal comfort or reputation. Which is what it means to follow Jesus.

Respectfully,

Elouise Renich Fraser

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 21 September 2017, reposted 19 August 2020
Photo taken by DAFraser, 11 September 2017, Longwood Gardens Meadow

Wandering thoughts on 31 March 2020

heaviness hangs in the air
relieved by brief moments
of sunshine or the smile
of a neighbor

relief and angst meet
on the corner of
truth-telling and fear
that it would be like this

now we know what
we don’t know
a step more than we knew
yesterday

solace comes slowly
if at all to people
used to being used
forgotten or despised

unthinkable thoughts
emerge such as
is this a plot to
reshape our country

I wait
For the shoe to drop
In our vast midlands
And wonder

what will the election
look like if we survive
to participate much less
hear about it

Most of the time my mind is focused on everyday realities, and staying in touch with myself and people I love. Still, every now and then the big picture presents itself. Not the big health picture, but the Big Government picture. The drama we never wanted to see or hear.

Praying for internal peace today for you and for me.
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 31 March 2020
Image found at mydayswelllived.com

climate change and politics

Restless wind lashes out
Sucks moisture from air
Whips back and forth
Tossing its weight around
Lost in desperate attempts
To make things happen but
Will we survive to tell about it?

I drafted this poem under another title in early April, 2019. We’d just experienced fierce wind storms in the Northeast. I was sorely tempted to make a connection between the storm outside and the growing storm in the White House.

This morning we have yet another storm brewing in the Northeast, as we move closer to a presidential election in November. Perhaps this explains the sometimes contorted speech we’re hearing from Senators up for reelection.

The ongoing drama of our current President’s behavior is important.

At the same time, nothing is more important for our future than addressing climate change. Actually, I don’t care what you call it, just so you get the point. Planet earth is sick unto death. And we, the gardeners, don’t have any quick fixes.

There are reasons for upheavals and breakdowns in our ecosystems. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of presidential politics and neglect what we can do right now to care for even a small patch of planet earth.

Money is important, but it won’t solve the problem. Nature doesn’t know about our bank accounts or our retirement funds or underground bunkers being built so we’ll ‘survive.’ Nor does Nature care whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, Independents or Nothing at All.

This is a disaster of our own making. Innocently enough, perhaps. Yet even so, isn’t it better to admit we were wrong, and demand that our towns, cities, states, and nation do the right thing? There’s more up for grabs in the coming election than who will be the next President.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 February 2019
Photo of Hurricane Irma passing through Naples, Florida, September 2017 (AP Photo/David Goldman); found at wunc.org

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