What a sad week!
First came the news reports about Christians in Iraq suffering intense persecution. Then followed the national gasp as we learned of the tragic deaths of Robin Williams and Michael Brown. By the end of the week, I vacillated between hating to watch the news yet knowing I should find out the most current of events.
In my gratitude journal, I struggled to find something positive to record and finally settled on “Freedom.”
I watched the internet video of Iraqi parents throwing their children into the arms of special forces inside a helicopter. What a crushing sorrow yet a final desperate act to ensure freedom for your child! What a fragile distance between dying on the mountain or flying off toward freedom!
As I watched clips of Robin Williams and his brilliant career, I shuddered at the loss of this incredible talent. But I also understood his last desperate act. In the darkest moments of my own depression, I also faced that moment when I attempted to escape via suicide. It was a divine scream that distracted me and gave me the opportunity to breathe another day.
Depression becomes a prison that steals our freedom to live abundantly.
The events regarding Michael Brown occurred not far from where I live, a mere four hours away on the turnpike. Yet this week, I felt a kinship to that mother who lost her son. My skin is the palest of white, and I felt ashamed whenever I saw African American citizens in my town, wishing I could change the past and the present for them, hating that once again – we were forced to dialogue about the same dreaded subject.
Once again, freedom was at risk as racist remarks and protests made me wonder – do we still not get it? Have we not learned that the soul is transparent no matter what color of skin covers it?
In each of these cases, freedom was the topic, hidden in that fragile place between desire and acceptance. In each case, my own freedoms seemed underscored.
- I cherish my freedom to worship God when and where I choose.
- I respect my freedom to live and honor my soul’s cry for mental and physical health.
- I vote for and fight for the freedoms of all Americans to be their authentic selves, no matter what race or gender.
Every day last week, I wrote “freedom” in my gratitude journal. Throughout each day, I prayed for the Christians in Iraq and for the families of Robin Williams and Michael Brown.
And every morning, as consciousness invaded my dreams, I whispered, “God – thank you for my life of freedom. But please, oh please – help us to respect the fragility of life. And oh God, please – keep us free.”
©2014 RJ Thesman – Intermission for Reverend G – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo
Great post Rebecca! It was one heck of a week! As a non US citizen I’d give a slightly different spin on point 3 :-)… I fight for all people, in all nations, no matter their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, that they be free to be their authentic selves and be everything God has intended them to be.
Thanks Anita, for giving the spin on the international viewpoint. It takes us back to that plea we all want for “world peace.”
Gripping post, Rebecca. Unfortunately, as long as there is evil in the world, we will battle the spirit of racism. Like you, I’m am grateful for my freedoms.
So true, Debra, and we can always pray for an end to the turmoil and that final victory.
And Amen. Thanks, Sally.
Yes, you’re so right! I, too, groped with thoughts about these things. After seeing that helicopter rescue, I thanked God for transitioning those people into a new life. I love your gratitude journal and have kept one on and off. I think I need to start again! I’m so thankful that God is always there in the chaos, pulling us toward His freedom
We have so much to be grateful for. The visual of that helicopter rescue still has not left me, and the despair of those families – so tragic. It does help me to keep my gratitude journal every day, to praise God for all the wonderful things He provides and especially – for who He is.