Saturday, July 03, 2010

Let Freedom Ring --Is that Cliche'?

I posted this photo on Facebook. Accompanying the photo was a post that said, We replaced our flag today. Seems we're the only one on the street who STILL keeps an American flag flying YEAR ROUND. To long as we have men and women serving this country--they deserve our loyalty and allegience. Thank you for keeping us safe. May God bless your service.

A couple of folks responded they still fly their flag, others had replaced their flags on a regular basis. And then I got THE ONE response that made me shake my head and sigh. "The picture is of confederate flags."

To that I had to respond with "Sigh." The point of the photo (other than it was a great' shot) was to honor ALL our service men and women. I wanted to say, "Duh....reckon! I'm from the south. And you know what real die-hard southerners say, "The South's gonna rise again!" But I didn't.

Instead, I started to think about the state in which our country resides. Those Confederate flags simply marked 18 young men who'd given their lives for FREEDOM...they believed deeply in what they fought for, and their sacrifices became a somewhat iconic representation of the faithfulness of the spirit of this country...even when we fight among ourselves.

I wondered if we've allowed our own cockiness and yes, complacency, to let "freedom" become cliche? We've become so comfortable and "fat" in our wealth (and yes, Americans are extremely wealthy compared to other countries. Most of us have at least two televisions, an iphone, two cars, a home, and a Wii. And let's not forget our cigarettes and liquor.) But we also have freedom.

Odd, don't you think, that we can't run to Wal-Mart and buy a bucket of freedom. We can't locate the newest version of freedom and download it to our computer nor can we really get our hands around it. Yet we have freedom and it cost us a heavy price.

I think about my dad's service during World War II, and how he literally bolted off of a landing craft onto a beach with bullets zinging past his head. My brother asked him, "Dad, where did you find the courage?"

Dad said, "It wasn't courage. It was a matter of survival."

Weeks later, he's shot through the neck by a sniper, patched up and sent back to the front--only to be hit by mortar fire and blown off a hill. Thank God he survived, not once but multiple incidents. Still with great pride, dad forged ahead...fighting for freedom. Grace was on Dad's side and he came home, but many of his friends didn't. The mental picture that lived with him after the war, never went away. What a price to pay...all for freedom.

I suppose my point of this soap box, is the flags this country has seen over it's 200+ years of history all represent men and women who went willingly into battle for the freedom we enjoy.

Sure, the flags in the photo were Confederate flags but the lives who stood behind them helped shape this country and bring her to the freedom she enjoys.

I can't pass a man or woman in uniform without sincerely offering them my gratitude. We are so fortunate to have faithful people who still believe in the values and freedom of this country.

We raised our American flag at the onset of the first Gulf war. This same flag has flown relentlessly on our front porch through every drop of rain, every ray of sun and every snow fall. It's never come down because our service men and women still serve in the rain, the snow and the heat.

Our flag is pretty worn, in fact, it's faded, tattered and fragile and I hated to retire it this week. Some said, give to to the Boy Scouts and they'll retire it properly. But I can't do that. In fact, I bought a special bag for my flag and today, I'm removing it from it's pole, folding it neatly and storing it in the bag. The new flag is beautiful and bright, but the old one still holds a great value to me. 24 years worth of honor for those who stand and those who have fallen for MY benefit.

Thank you soldiers! Every one of you. And thank you parents who sacrificed your babies. I pray that this country will go to her knees and pray and that God will hear us and heal us. We've become somewhat perverted in our thoughts. But I have hope. I have faith. I believe in Christ and in His blessings on the freedom we maintain.

No, to me...freedom is not cliche! What about you?

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14