12 Years ago today I was proctoring a standardized test to 6th graders at Mulberry Middle School when I heard about the 1st tower being hit via an email. I turned on the TV & rolled it toward me and away from the testing students just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. Hot tears steamed as I was forced to silently weep for the lives I knew ended the moment the 2nd tower dropped before my eyes what seemed like a lifetime later. A concerned student, seeing my tears, broke the mandated silence and asked, “What’s happening Mr. B?” I’ll never forget my answer: “If you are a Christian, pray.” I’LL NEVER FORGET!
We do not form parades that culminate at the center of a city for a brash display of military might to proclaim the power of a specific leader.
I was in Nicaragua a few years back and saw a caravan of buses heading to Managua to celebrate their version of Independence Day. The tone was aggressive & smelled a lot like a political rally. That’s how most countries actually celebrate themselves if they celebrate at all. There’s something different about America.
-The 4th of July is about picnics and poolsides. While young children toss a baseball in the backyard their parents laugh & recant those old, familiar stories they shared last year.
-It is about crowded beaches and the tell-tale hue of too-pink skin as the sun descends into the horizon and the kids lay open-mouthed asleep in the back seat after a very long day.
-July 4th is about a day of rest, family & aversion to the responsibilities of our day-to-day.
Independence day in America does not serve as a militaristic reminder of power & authority but, rather, it bears the real fruit of authentic Freedom…