Monday, May 26, 2014

Freedom is Never Free

I've been looking at everyone's posts on facebook today.  Some are at the lake. Some are at the pool. Others, like Caleb, are completing end of the year testing in school because of the harsh winter we had.  Me, I'm hanging out, reading my Kindle while I do laundry in between games of Candy Crush  (Yes, it is a skill.  Yes, it makes it take longer... but it is so much more enjoyable!)

The sun is shining and I can tell that it is a beautiful day, and I'm sure Caleb will hit the pool as soon as he gets home from school, so I'm anxiously fighting off the urge to give in and go on down to the lounge chair.

Somewhere, there is a Mama missing her son or daughter.

Somewhere, there is a wife placing a flag on a gravesite, remembering laughter and good times.

Somewhere, there is a daughter who loves her Daddy just like I love mine, but she's not able to tell him that.

We tend to lose focus on freedom.  I'll be the first to admit that I take it for granted. I stopped watching the news several years ago, so I know that I don't ponder all the tragedy in this world. 

But somewhere, there is a woman, just like me.  She's probably off from work today because of the holiday, and she wouldn't be grumbling about folding up endless piles of laundry.  She'd love to be able to wipe the jelly out of the floor one more time, or to step on a stray lego in the living room floor. 

Instead, she grabs her car keys to talk to her husband, son, daughter, Daddy...

and places a flag at the foot of a grave.

This weekend, I visited four different cemeteries.  I laughed at my Grandma Na's grave as Kami demonstrated that she could, in fact, use a shovel.  I smiled as I watched Papaw Jr. point out his Mom and Dad's plot, and didn't know how to respond when Caleb asked if his great-great-great-great grandpa was for slavery since he fought in the Confederacy.  I listened as my Grandma Bert dictated where flowers were to be placed on her Mom and Dad's stone, and almost cried when she reminded my Aunt Lisa to put flowers next to a missionary's grave.  I watched Wallace point out to Caleb his Grandpa Richard's grave... for the most part, individuals that I never got to meet.

And then we rode the Ranger through the river, and I went for a walk, and my skin, red and warm from the sun, reminded me of the joy of the last two days.

But somewhere... there isn't much joy. 

Freedom is not free.  Across the sea, there is a man or woman willing to lay down their life so that I can sit here in my pajamas at 1 PM, looking at the piles of laundry and wishing that I could just be on a float in the pool.

Somehow, that just doesn't add up in my mind, but the truth is that people have been laying down their lives for years. 

An American GI or Marine, so that I can buy a book or a Bible or vote...

and Jesus Christ, so that my freedom could be eternal.

Help me, Lord, not take either for granted. Thank you can never be enough.

Today, remembering that freedom is not free, and praying for our troops, their families, and all of those who have lost loved ones... especially those who are grieving years later.

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