Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day 2018

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. James 5:7-10 
My Cherokee mother loved the 4th of July and hosted the bicycle parade every year in our little town for 41 years. Families came in the hundreds to decorate their bicycles, ride behind the fire engine and then collect on our lawn for Kool-Aid, cookies, crumpets and water ice. The last one we did, we did without her in 2012 since she had a fall the day before. She never returned home after that. But she instilled in us and her community, a love of God, the care of children and patience in all things. She knew freedom to be a hard won thing, something to treasure and celebrate. And she loved people, greeting every parent, grand parent and child as if they were long lost relatives. For me, that is the heart of today. Our children and grandchildren have caught her spirit and her love - it was contagious and genuine - and I am forever grateful to God for the gift of her self-giving and patient heart.
Have a blessed Fourth of July and treasure the love you have and the freedom we celebrate today.

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