Some months back I wrote the first part of “Sorrow” but then lost it. Today, while looking for something else, I suddenly had access to where that and several other stories are. Thank you, Jesus!
You have read “Sorrow” now read this one. If you are willing to slog through them both, please let me know which one you like better!
Her smile was grim as she remembered how she waved in tatters over a continental army striving for freedom from British tyranny. She took pride in those leaders; Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin. She remembered the words penned in the Declaration of Independence:
“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;”
She thought of what it had meant to the men who had rebelled against England, what it cost them, their families. She considered how her country had been founded, in the hearts and minds of pilgrims searching for religious freedom, from the blood and sacrifice of patriots who fought for freedom.
It had taken an uncommon amount of commitment, bravery, blind faith, and heroism to withstand the deprivations of cold, lack of food, lack of supplies, clothes or even shoes; but they stood, they stood tall and brave. She flung the tear off her cheek, raised herself straight and proud and encouraged the eagle to scream in pride and glory. There was more of that document, more that reminded her of the responsibility the founders and all the citizens had assumed.
“WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES;… And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
She saw the oath to God for the honor of what they were to do and saw how God had looked after and blessed those early Americans. A song came softly on a drift of breeze…softly at first
“God Bless America! Land that I love!
Stand Beside her, and guide her …..”
The words slipped away. She tried to reach for them .
“From the mountains…to….the…”
They were gone!
A stealthy foreboding shadow had crept over her; its clouds had blocked the sun. The angry black clouds boiled up in a fury that rumbled ominously with thunder and struck out angry slivers of lightning. In those dark and menacing clouds and angry slivers of lightning she saw an evil try to rise, it was trying to strike down what those brave men had stood freedom, for her land, and won.
This darkness, this evil came in the shapes evil usually does; pride, greed, love of self. There had been small skirmishes here and there with this evil that would destroy the land, they grew and grew until men and women were bought and sold like so much cattle. It grew as states would raid and kill as a way to force new states to accept a title of slave or free state. Then came that grave day, the day the tall man was elected. South Carolina was the first to leave, others soon followed. The result was the most destructive 5five years of battle, of death, of pain that a land could stand. Brother fought against brother, father against son. The tall man had tried to bring peace but died before he saw success. The truth of his words rang out:
“Four scores and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
,, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln)
This man of honor and faith reminded the land and reminded Old Glory that this country, this land, this United States of America was a “new nation, conceived in liberty.” and dedicated to the equality of ALL men. She thought of that last sentence, he honored the dead and their devotion on both sides; urged the country to resolve that these men, Confederate and Union, would not have died in vain. That THIS country, THIS United Stated of America, UNDER GOD, should have an NEW BIRTH of Freedom and that the government OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE should not perish from this earth.
His words reminded her of the Declaration of Independence, was it there? What had it said? Oh, yes. That all men were created equal and that all were endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, such as the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.
She had watched while the stars on her field of blue had grown, taken joy and pride as she watched the people grow into the wonderful words they had struck. For the words of the Declaration, the words of the tall man — those were words a country HAD to grow into. The full import of those words, the full responsibility of those words would continue to be learned and understood and implemented for years and years, or would they?????
She watched with pride as her land came to stand for right and might. How her people would come to assist others around the world to fight against evil and injustice. She stood so much straighter as people streamed to her borders from other lands in search of that freedom offered to any who would come and work hard and become Americans.
The wars came and went, she saw the horror of mustard gas, of the boxcars and ovens, the torture of men, women, even children. She saw how evil tried over and over to raise its ugly head, to destroy her land. She again stood proudly as that evil was defeated. Her men and women came home. Years went by, but something happened; people started to forget. Evil had learned, it was stealthier in its attack. No more broadsides, not for a while.
A chill went through Glory as she felt it sink, into the lives of Americans. It had been a time of plenty, a time of economic growth, job growth, a time of comfort. Her people, lulled into a false sense of security., relaxed their watchfulness. Evil assured them, “No more can hurt you, just be happy, you have won and you did it, you can relax. You have fought hard and are tired; so rest….sleep, sleep,…” Well, the people did sleep. They let their sense of entitlement take over; they forgot their Creator; they forgot what it takes to keep a land safe.They became selfish and greedy. She tried so hard to wake them up but the evil, the darkness just smiled and continued being patient, advancing, retreating, then advancing again. It gave up ground on some fronts, gained on others then went back and took back the ground it had lost. It chortled once in the words of a man from another land “I once said, “We will bury you,” and I got into trouble with it. Of course, we will not bury you with a shovel. Your working class will bury you.” (Nikita Khrushchev). Still, the people took no note.
Glory waved, worked to inspire, but the people could not be awakened from their malaise. Little by little, supposed rights” took away the very words of the constitution. First, God was denied, then a word was coined that took away the humanity of a baby, fetus. Then came the “right ” of a woman to her body. Evil deluded the people. Evil said, “Sex is good, why should you not enjoy? Why should only those who are married have so much fun?” Thus the crushing war on a woman’s sexuality began. Birth Control, sex ed classes, legal abortion. No longer is there a right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness,” Old Glory moaned. “Now we extinguish life before it can enjoy life or liberty. We take away the liberty of young women through the ideas of sexual freedom, they are forced to think they must. Evil has taken away every protection.” Evil’s grimace of a smile became wider, the blood of innocents stained its sharp teeth and dripped from the side of its awful ugly terrifying grin.
As the dank slumber deepened evil became more bold. People looked not to the words of one who came to warn, the words that said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!” (John F. Kennedy) Evil killed him, He had so little time to make his words a part of the land, their meaning, their great import was lost.
Other attacks came, a weak government, too weak and frightened to rescue hostages, somehow, for a while a hero would arise to beat that evil back and Glory remembered the pride of Reagan, the simple greatness of Bush. She remembered when evil attacked again, with a boldness she would never have believed. Over three thousand lives were lost that day, that September 11th. The people seemed to wake up, but they had been in their drugged state for too long. They were not used to a true fight, they did not have the stamina, they were weak. They heard evil’s words and again closed their eyes. They slapped at the responsibility, and the cry of the trampled people. The clouds that adorned evils head grew thicker and blacker. Evil continued to whisper lies to the people, Lies they wanted to hear, begged to hear.
Glory looked around. The horror overtook her, the stench from the drug of the malaise reached her, she reared back in disgust and lifted her hand to her mouth, “Scream Eagle, Scream! Scream at what they have done! Scream to wake them up! Scream to call them back.”
Eagle screamed. He screamed through the mouths of the stalwart few who had not succumbed to evil’s lies. He screamed through song and prayer and praise, he screamed until he could scream no more. “Glory, it is up to them. I can do no more, I am used up.”
Glory understood. She herself was tattered and torn. She and Eagle looked over the broken land, the broken people, and tears of grief rolled down their cheeks. She looked upward to the heavens, through the ones who were not asleep, she inspired prayer. Prayer poured forth from the lips of those still awake. Pray for our leaders, pray for our people, pray for an awakening.”
Glory waved high and proud in my yard this morning. proclaiming what was once and what could be again, if only the people in her land would awaken.