Today's a little different than other days.
Corn is heaped high onto a plate, waiting to be carried down to the grill,
Baked beans are slowly cooking in the cooker,
Hamburger patties are thawing on the stove,
A bag of chips - a rare sight! - rests on the table.
What is most different, however, is not in the kitchen or in the dining room,
It is on the front porch.
It flies only a few days every year -
Maybe Veteran's Day
Or Labor Day,
But it always flies today -
The Fourth of July.
As people move back and forth, preparing food and waiting for cars to pull in the driveway, it moves gently with the breeze.
It reminds me of the message at church only yesterday -
That the Fourth of July is about independence, freedom for our country and its people,
But every day is an independence day to those who truly believe,
For we have been set free.
These words were spoken only yesterday
And are almost forgotten today,
In the spreading of tablecloths and mixing of Kool-Aid,
In the lighting of grills and flipping of burgers,
It all feels like more work tying us down.
Is this really Independence Day?
The flag still flies on the porch,
A reminder that we are free, even though this is a fact we tend to take for granted and almost always overlook.
We are free,
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36, NIV)
On this Independence Day, it seems only right to take a moment to give thanks to those who have fought and who continue to fight for our freedom and for the freedom of others around the world: Thank you so much! You truly are heroes!