Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Personal Reflection

Opening the windows to God’s wind

at-the-back-of-the-north-wind-bw-12, Maria Louise Kirk, 1860-1938 cropped

That’s all I have to do — open the windows to God’s wind.

During the last 24 hours I’ve been up and I’ve been down. So far down I thought my mind wouldn’t escape its endless loop in the early hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. Read the rest of this entry »

The soul’s nest | From an Old Soul

July 22 – 23, Diary of an Old Soul

Sometimes, perhaps, the spiritual blood runs slow,
And soft along the veins of will doth flow,
Seeking God’s arteries from which it came.
Or does the ethereal, creative flame
Turn back upon itself, and latent grow?—
It matters not what figure or what name,
If thou art in me, and I am not to blame.

In such God-silence, the soul’s nest, so long
As all is still, no flutter and no song,
Is safe. But if my soul begin to act
Without some waking to the eternal fact
That my dear life is hid with Christ in God—
I think and move a creature of earth’s clod,
Stand on the finite, act upon the wrong.

George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul
Augsburg Fortress Press 1994

Soul-weariness. I know it well. A kind of spiritual torpor. Listlessness. Is it sloth? Maybe. I’m not sure. It creates hunger in me. Hunger to trace down the source of this lassitude, this inability to move within my spirit for or against anything.

Sometimes I try to ‘make it happen.’ Searching for anything that will jolt my connection with God and with others. Wake me up. Give me a reason to live, a reason to write, a sense of contentment or even happiness.

I know my life is ‘hid with Christ in God,’ but it’s hidden so well that I can’t seem to find it right now. Is this depression? World-weariness? Older age seeping into my veins? Molasses running cool instead of warm?

Where’s the fire I long to feel? Am I burning out? Are my best days behind me? Is it going to be like this forever?

I can think of a thousand ways of describing it. But none of it takes me anywhere.

All I know is that God dwells in me no matter how I feel right now. I don’t blame God, and I can’t blame myself. This is just the way it is right now. Like it or not.

In fact, this is a pretty restful place. “God-silence.” A bit like Sabbath rest. Is God resting too? I like the idea of being a little bird in God’s nest. I like being here, not worrying about where the worms are coming from for my next meal, or what I’ll do today. God seems to be taking care of that…so far. I think I’ll take a little nap.

On the other hand, I wonder what it would be like to leave the nest.

I have an idea! I could practice my flutters for a few days, and learn to sing a little bird song! I’m sure God wouldn’t mind if I take a tiny solo flight to spread cheer and good will. It would really perk me up to know I’m making a difference!

What did you just say? I shouldn’t do this? I don’t belong to myself? My life isn’t my own? And if I do something impulsive like this, I’m just “a creature of earth’s clod?” Made out of a lifeless lump of clay? About to crash-land?

What do you know about it? Who do you think you are? God?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 November 2015

All things are shadows | From an Old Soul

July 21, Diary of an Old Soul

All things are shadows of the shining true:
Sun, sea, and air—close, potent, hurtless fire—
Flowers from their mother’s prison—dove, and dew—
Every thing holds a slender guiding clue
Back to the mighty oneness: hearts of faith
Know thee than light, than heat, endlessly nigher,
Our life’s life, carpenter of Nazareth.

George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul
Augsburg Fortress Press 1994

* * *

This sonnet makes my heart sing.
As wonderful as nature is,
with its “slender guiding clues,”
One rises above all others.
More than a shadow of shining truth,
The heart of every flower or drop of dew,
holding all things together,
Life of my life: “carpenter of Nazareth.”

I can’t help asking why? Why this man Jesus, carpenter of Nazareth, who lived for so few years on this earth? Why this man on his way to death from the beginning? Not known for being beautiful or easy to follow. Why this carpenter of Nazareth?

I’m not given to rational answers or apologetic reasoning. Yet without this carpenter of Nazareth in my life, I would have no life.

Without him I would see shadows,
but not the “shining true” within the shadows.
I would miss the “slender guiding clues” that point beyond.
Beyond the sun, sea and air;
beyond the flowers, doves and dew
to One who is closer and dearer than light and heat,
breath of my breath—“carpenter of Nazareth.”

A carpenter, vulnerable as am I. Not visibly glorious like a sunset, or majestic like galaxies spread over the universe. Vulnerable. Like a newborn infant, a flower or dove. Vulnerable like a frightened child, a painfully self-conscious teenager, a clueless young adult or new parent, a jaded war-weary adult, or an aging senior citizen.

Vulnerable to what? Being mocked, loved, rejected, abandoned, hated, ignored, disbelieved, understood, misunderstood, sick, hungry, thirsty, weary, sad, forsaken, fed up, angry, passionate, stalked, watched, betrayed, arrested without cause, convicted in a mock trial, beaten, paraded as a criminal, strung up to die.

He wasn’t a power-monger; he lived a human life and dealt with his human situation as one of us. A carpenter of Nazareth doing his best to remain faithful to God who gave him life and a seemingly impossible mission.

He showed us what to do and what not to do, how to be and how not to be. He showed us the way home and the way to die, and offered to walk with us.

I know him because he first knows me. His life tells me so.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 21 November 2015

weapons of war


sunburst of glory
explodes in gleaming splendor
wrought from war’s horror

* * *

I’m standing in The Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle, surrounded by historic weapons of war. Read the rest of this entry »

You’re not what I expected

Wedding Day, 11 September 1965

Just over one year ago I posted a poem in honor of our 49th wedding anniversary. I called it The Other 9/11. Now we’ve marked 50 years together—and D is still not what I expected. Read the rest of this entry »

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