It's been a long time since I celebrated the 4th of July. Nothing against freedom or fireworks (I appreciate both); it just brought up bad memories. At 19, one of my best friends was killed on Independence Day. At 36, another friend passed near that time. Couple that with crowds, loud parties, and explosions that scare my pets 'til 3 in the morning, it became more painful than anything. But it wasn't always that way...
"Mom, look, sparklers! Can we get some?" I used to beg when I saw the familiar blue and and white pack. Excitedly, I would wait for the sun to fall so I could paint the sky. They were my candles... waiting for wishes.
"Fix Muffins," I cried one year, thinking of my injured cat.
"Don't let Matt move away," I prayed another. And on and on and on...
The exact utterance wasn't important, at least not as much as the belief that someone was listening. The brighter the glow, the more I knew, God was watching and paying attention.
As I think of the 4th this year, I am returned to my childhood and the hope that God favors sparkly lights filled with wishes. With every flame that rises and every ash that falls, I no longer see sadness and tears, but dreams of a new future...one filled with health, happiness, and peace.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
--The Declaration of Independence, 1776
Lighting lanterns for you...they may look like fireworks, but they're really hugs laced with prayers.
Altered Today: Traditions, love, and gratitude for the people who make independence possible. Thank you Katie Fujinami. I've never met you, but you inspire me. XOXOX