A few weeks ago Todd, our eldest son and Army major, told us he is heading back to Iraq in a few months – for the third time. (He has also served in Kuwait and Afghanistan.) Each time he leaves it is never easy for him or us because we know he is heading into arms way.
I’ll never forget the first time he was in Iraq, he sent home a picture of Old Glory blowing in a beautiful blue sky with a ragged white border that circled the flag. I wrote him that it was a great picture but what was that tattered border circling the flag. His explanation was not what his mother and I wanted to hear – that white border was the remains of his tent’s roof after a mortar came through and exploded near him. As he lay on his back, safe and looking up and seeing Old Glory through the hole, he decided to take a picture to remind everyone that God who dwells in that blue heaven is still in control and America still stands…no matter how bad the circumstances.
I think of Todd’s photograph as we get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence on July 4 and we all remember that “freedom isn’t free.” I am grateful for men and women, past and present, who are willing to lay down their lives for the freedom of others.As we get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence on July 4 remember that “freedom isn’t free.” Click To Tweet
As a father who said goodbye to his son knowing there was a chance that he would not return, I reflect on what the Heavenly Father must have thought as he said goodbye to his Son, knowing that in a few years he would die an agonizing death on a cross and left out to die in the hot sun; exposed for everyone to watch and jeer. I can’t fathom that type of love…but I am eternally indebted to the Heavenly Father and the Son who loves me beyond my comprehension. As the hymnist said:
“Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God would die for me.”