Talking to Myself While Reciting Her Words

Talking to MyselfAdvent will be over when you read these words, but their hope-filled message transcends any season or embraced beliefs. My head kept a ceaseless, rhythmic nodding as I read these sentences and whispered, thank you, Eleanor, and yes, me too, and then I smiled as I finished her final prayerful request.

Eleanor Roosevelt had a habit of writing on her hands, those very hands that had clasped the hands of thousands of haves and have-nots, kings, queens, and common folk alike, my mother’s included when they exchanged greetings at a small town gathering. Perhaps the seed thoughts and personal, nuanced words for this prayer were etched or scrawled between the lifelines on those same palms. Whether they were or not, and I like to believe snippets were, Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite prayer touches my soul’s yearnings, and so I share her words with you.

Our Father, who has set a restlessness in our hearts and made us all seekers after that which we can never fully find, forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life. Draw us from base content and set our eyes on far-off goals. Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength. Deliver us from fretfulness and self-pitying; make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden good in the world. Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us and our hearts to the loveliness men hide from us because we do not try to understand them. Save us from ourselves and show us a vision of the world made new.

—-Eleanor Roosevelt, in The Treasury of American Prayers

 

image courtesy of praying hands abstract

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

13 Comments

  1. Alan

    Thanks for the reminder to finish well and have a good new beginning.
    I appreciate the prayer. I will use it in my preparation for Sunday.
    Happy New Year

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Alan,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Love to hear the results of your “Sunday prep.” Alan, Eleanor and Jesus–quite the trio!
      Roger

      Reply
  2. Jo Anne Kurman

    Beautiful and profound words from an amazing woman. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Jo Anne,
      Yes, she and her words were amazing and profound. Quite the woman! Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Roger

      Reply
  3. Gary Lievre

    It is amazing how some things never lose their impact and meaning thanks for reminding us. Gary

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Gary,
      Oh my! (thank you Dick Enberg–may you rest in peace), what would it be like if I didn’t remind myself [frequently] so “their impact and meaning” are not lost.
      Thank you, Gary,
      Roger

      Reply
  4. yourrel4 (Post author)

    It’s 10:28, I’m turning out the lights, and though it is cold outside Eleanor’s words give me warmth and hope.
    Your Reluctant Disciple, although tonight not so much.

    Reply
  5. Bill Lane Doulos

    “Deliver us from fretfulness and self-pitying; make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden good in the world. Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us and our hearts to the loveliness men hide from us because we do not try to understand them. Save us from ourselves and show us a vision of the world made new.”

    These words from the prayer by Eleanor Roosevelt offer a good summary of my marching orders for 2018. I am glad you shared them with us, Roger, because they are more profound and accurate than anything I could conjure up myself. They express so beautifully otherwise chaotic thoughts within. I can’t remember a time when fretfulness and self-pity were a greater temptation for me, because of the perceived drift of the world toward division and hatred.

    I have to remind myself that my efforts have to be predicated upon the “hidden good” and the “simple beauty” and “loveliness” that abound beneath the surface. I take the dereliction of so many people I encounter in my work as a serious reality, but not an ultimate reality. Within each person and within civilization itself there is a “hidden good” and a “simple beauty” and a “loveliness.”

    I shall approach each day in 2018 as a quest to discover these qualities in others and to cultivate them in myself. Thank you for this timely inspiration!

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Bill,
      Thank you for reading and commenting, but also for reminding me that when fretting, chaotic thoughts, and self-pity churn and percolate ‘serious reality’ into ‘ultimate reality’ in my soul and mind I need to step back and reaffirm the difference between the two–one to be wrestled with, and the latter to be embraced.
      Roger

      Reply
  6. Dona

    “Make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden good in the world.” Thank you for the gift of hopefulness in this prayer as I strive to begin 2018 with an optimistic attitude and new resolve. Happy New Year, Dona

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Dona,
      Great to read your words of finding hope, optimism, new resolve, and if I may add, a striving to live fully into 2018 whatever it brings!
      Happy New Year and know you are in good company on the journey!
      Roger

      Reply
  7. Colette

    Thank you, Roger, for sharing your hopefulness and Eleanor’s prayer with us at this time of transition from this year into next. Lord knows, we seem to have “tasks too hard” before us in 2018 and beyond. And so, we pray for god’s help, for strength to carry on, living as fully and authentically as we can, while enjoying and appreciating simple truths and beauty. Wishing you many blessings as you enter the new year ahead.

    Reply
    1. yourrel4 (Post author)

      Colette,
      Perhaps ‘being given’ “tasks too hard” initiates what we lose sight of when the tasks are less demanding, as her words suggest. The boulder we’re currently ‘pushing up the hill’ meets her criterion and if so we’ll “find strength to carry on, living as fully and authentically as we can–prayers, blessings, hope, and appreciation of simple truths and the beauty held therein. Thank you for reading and commenting.
      You too have my wishes for a blessed year in 2018.
      Roger

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *