Dear Mr. President, Sometimes ‘freedom’ isn’t, actually (and the dish that could bring some world peace)
In morning’s light, I gaze across our land. Leaves dance and twirl through the air, branches ruffled by unseen fingers. An errant one kisses my forehead in my spot on the BOS (Bright Orange Swing) before skittering behind me to the ground.
Sun’s rays play atop the green, green grass, turning dew drops to diamonds of fire. Just over my shoulder, the drumbeat of walnuts, autumn’s rhythm, keeps time with a silent conductor; plunk, plunk, plunk.
For days, now, the squirrels have been busy. They dart here and there, hauling those nuts across the grass, bushy tails disappearing up the trunks of the maples. They know what I know, these furry creatures, and they’re using their time to prepare. Winter’s coming…
Dear Mr. President,
I’m writing to you today from my simple, country home amidst the cornfields. Here on our three acres (aka, The Three), we have lived a peaceful life, raising four boys, building a business, paying our taxes.
In many ways, it’s the American dream. We own our cozy home. On starlit nights, we have bonfires in the yard. We bounce together on the trampoline. Make s’mores. Invite friends. Grill up our killer chicken (which alone could bring world peace), and we set off fireworks on the Fourth of July.
We come and go as we please. We attend the church of our choice and enroll our sons in the school system up the road. We’ve chosen careers that we love and where we flourish, and in that, there’s a lot of fulfillment. We are grateful.
Today, that word is rolling around in my head, for it’s the rock on which our nation was built. Freedom to be. Freedom to do. Freedom to “live and move and have our being.” To choose our leaders, to worship, to pray.
Odd, how twisted-up it can get. For there is much that we can do in the name of “freedom” that isn’t. Isn’t actually freedom, I mean.
When these United States were young (you will know this), there was a terrible blight on our land. It was called slavery, and a portion of our people were not free. They were prisoners.
What growing pains we suffered. For North turned against South, man against man, and our husbands, sons, and brothers fought and died. Killed each other, and the blood that soaked the ground was American. Both sides.
That kind of slavery was outward, literal slaves going free in our country’s implosion and re-form-ing. Folks in chains, given the key.
All these years after the Civil War, we still have slavery. Women and children are trafficked for pleasure, prisoners to craven man’s whims. Women are “free” to kill their own babies, and we’re “free” to marry any gender, topsy turvy. (“Free,” even, to change our own gender, a biological impossibility.)
How sad, for the very things we thought we wanted, the things we thought would make us free, have not actually freed us. They have enslaved, and the misery and the heartache’s around us. Sad, hating, hurting people, a nation divided under…
God! Yes, God Who Himself did create us, every one. Who breathed love for freedom in each heart.
Mr. President, the office you occupy? That’s tremblin’ ground. You, as every man who’s come before you, have been placed there by a God Who ordains the times and seasons, who enthrones and dethrones kings. You, as every man who’s gone before you, have feet of clay. Feet far too small, imperfect, and unsteady to mark out the path for a country. For America.
Our hope, we who still love this land and love God, is not actually in you, though we acknowledge God’s sovereignty in your choosing. You’re an instrument. But.
But, sir, you have a mighty voice. A mighty platform. A whole, aching world is watching, is waiting. You need divine direction and guidance.
Mr. President, sometimes you come to my mind when I’m out running on our country road. So I pray for you. I ask God to give you a hunger for true wisdom. I do ’cause you need it, and our country sure needs you to have it.
In your past, you’ve objectified women. Objectified sisters and daughters and mothers and wives, the ones who birth life, a holy calling. You’ve had a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter. Show the world how it looks to respect them. The country needs you to model it.
You are working hard to protect us from enemies, from terrorists with bombs and with bullets. Keep working. But what if the gravest threat isn’t from outside our land, but within our own darkened hearts? To guide a nation, and to guide it well, you need a heart that’s truly en-light-ened. I’m praying.
I have to say this yet, sir. I think with fondness of your 11-year-old son, Barron. For I have an 11-year-old son, too. I can only guess at the difficulty of raising a boy in the public eye. Raising boys is hard enough in relative anonymity with the sky and the earth and the trees for a playground. One thing’s sure, a boy of any age is a food furnace, and I know it. Doesn’t matter what his last name is.
A boy’s a blessing. And so is this land we both love. No matter what we agree or disagree on, you and I, you can know that I’m still a proud American with respect and great love for our country and for your office. God bless America!