These days I am thinking about freedom.
Thinking about who we are.
Putin’s horrendous murder of the innocent children and mothers
and fathers and grandparents in Ukraine has me asking:
What do all of us in the free world
who despise his coldhearted deliberate sadistic genocide
have in common?
What do we ALL believe in?
What do we ALL believe is worth fighting for,
in the best way we can?
Let’s embrace a symbol of freedom to unite us.
Are you willing to bring your heart into this with me?
Let’s DO this!
Me, I’ve got red white and blue running in my veins.
I identify with the American flag.
To me, the blue stripes are the blue states,
the red stripes are the red states,
and the stars are all our everlovin’ American souls.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
with liberty and justice for all.
I identify deeply with our Pledge.
But these days I have been thinking:
Patrick Henry got up in Philadelphia in 1776
with our newborn flag and declared:
Give me liberty or give me death.
He was about as American as it gets,
but he still wasn’t saying Give me America or give me death.
He was saying Give me liberty.
And more recently a certain American president
(whom I won’t name or half of you may not listen)
“Freedom isn’t our (America’s) gift to the world.
It is God’s gift to humanity.”
So here we are today
We watch, our hearts in our throats,
not knowing if today is his last day on earth…
Volodymyr Zalensky is standing tall in Kyiv,
the beautiful yellow and blue flag of Ukraine by his side,
declaring the same thing Patrick Henry declared.
And all those brave Russians marching in Moscow against Putin,
not knowing what violence will be done to them,
are holding a beautiful flag in their hearts,
and declaring Patrick Henry’s vow with every step.
You and I
and freedom loving people all over the world
are in awe.
We know we are witnessing
We are inspired
and we are grateful.
We recognize deep in our souls
that neither Zalensky nor the Russian people
are standing up only for their own country.
they are fighting for the shared values of the civilized world.
They are fighting
and laying down their beautiful lives
for ALL of us.
What can we do to honor them?
What symbol of freedom can we ALL hold in our hearts?
When the Chinese students In Tienanmen Square
stood up to the Communist dictators in 1989,
in those few days before they were massacred,
they didn’t hoist the flag of their own, or any other, country.
They erected a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
They adopted it as their own.
And it is.
It is a universal symbol.
It doesn’t belong only to America.
The torch of freedom belongs to the world
It belongs to the whole world.
It shows a person holding up the light.
Just one hand
That is what each of us is called to do
in this dark time.
In all dark times.
We are called to hold up the torch of freedom.
And not only that…
we are called to be the light.
We are called to be
the actual burning glowing light
in the torch of freedom we hold up.
What is the light of freedom inside you?
Where can you shine it today?
Go ahead! Let it shine!
Even if it is only a little spark, it is precious.