See these people?
All friends for 20-ish years.
If we are lucky, we all meet together once a year. Like this past weekend.
What a privilege to gather freely and catch up, listen, laugh, cry, pray, cheer one another on, encourage each other, eat favorite food, sit outside.
For various amounts of time, all have lived in or visited other cultures around the world.
All of us are now permanent residents of our U.S.A. and spread out throughout this country.
Land of the FREE.
Home of the BRAVE.
Bravery is not only assigned to those who fight foreign entities to guard our liberties.
Bravery is for those living out their freedom here and now in an atmosphere that is screaming to narrow freedom’s expressions.
Each of the souls embodied in the above picture live their freedom with abandon.
Umm… how do freedom and sacrifice go together?
Living in America affords us, via the Constitution, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The couples you see up there have embraced the ultimate meaning of freedom: sacrificing their own ease for the sake of providing for the life and liberty of other human beings who were victim to circumstances that had prevented their pursuit of happiness.
Freedom is most generously employed in the business of sacrificial love.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. BUT do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
RATHER, serve one another humbly in love.
God-given liberty is MOST free when serving others, not pampering oneself.
Standing before God, a judge and witnesses,
those families each made a lifelong legal and spiritual covenant between their household and a fragile soul orphaned by trauma.
That binding agreement was just the beginning of their bravery to deny indulging their freedom to create a lifestyle of comfort.
Freely they live, engaging with that emotionally and relationally broken heart,
having to walk the rest of the household DAILY through the dysregulation,
field the rest of the family’s collateral damage, and
as the lyrics from Hamilton come to mind here,
“learn to live with the unimaginable.”
Freedom as it is intended by our Creator is freedom to live in love bravely and sacrificially.
That’s what Jesus did.
We can sacrifice because He did and He is faithful to keep His promise that our sacrifice to follow His example will be BEYOND worth it in the end.
I see His example in my friends.
My husband and I did NOT adopt a child.
Our friends who did needed that.
We instead lay down our comfort in different ways and times to hold them up and wrap around them in their journeys, usually free to drop-and-go if called on.
So many voices these days have radically different takes on life and freedom.
how many persons (from either/any side)
using their voices (usually only in a crowd or on social media where there’s not real conversation or mature debate)
have intentionally sought to buy coffee or a cocktail for someone who disagrees with their stance.
And then LISTEN.
Listen to their story and
a common thread of brave and sacrificial love somewhere in the narrative.
On that ground,
will we really be so quick to cancel or be ok verbally abusing a person for the sake of differing ideas?
My friends and I don’t hold to all the same politics as each other.
We haven’t all voted for the same presidents.
Our relationships are based on respect for each other’s lives of sacrifice (whatever form(s) that takes),
and we know that dissenting rhetoric doesn’t hold a candle to our shared value that
Combine Freedom and Sacrifice, you get Love.
Combine Freedom and Love, you get Sacrifice.
Combine Love and Sacrifice, you get Freedom.
On this, we will always agree.
Here’s to another twenty years – God willing!