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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day - But Not for All

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In Sunday school today our lesson was from John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  The lesson stated “We all need a place to call home.”  This being the 4th, we tied into the study the celebration of America’s birthday—the land of the free, the home of the brave.  For many, home means a place of freedom—where you can feel comfortable being yourself.  But many in America aren’t free—they no longer feel at home in America where it counts the most—in their everyday lives.  There are all stages of ill health that can take away freedom.  Bryan, who lives in an assisted living facility because of his health, says he is terribly unhappy there.  I said, “yes, but you’re free to express what’s on your mind.”  He said that no he wasn’t, if he did that they would Baker Act him into a mental hospital—and he wasn’t joking.  He sees where he lives as a type of prison.  Besides those with ill health, others who don’t feel free are those who can’t find work, those who have been evicted from their homes because of foreclosure, those who are deeply in debt, those chronically unhappy at their jobs for whatever reason and are not free to find another, those facing law suites, those in federal, state, and local prisons.  There undoubtedly are many other reasons why people either are not free or don’t feel free.  Independence Day for them highlights their dependency even to feelings of servitude or imprisonment.  For these people hope rather than stark reality keeps them from despair.  Hope “is a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible” (Encarta Dictionary).  Somehow, someway, something will change.  Hope is like the resurrection plant:  “a species of desert plant in the spikemoss family…. [It] is noted for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation; during dry weather in its native habitat, its stems curl into a tight ball and uncurl when exposed to moisture.  [It has] the common name ‘rose of Jericho’” (

Somehow hope survives by viewing this as a dry spell that will not last.  Change and renewal are possible…. We will revive like the rose of Jericho.  Some feel this way, but some do not.  Some are in despair.