In all the fear-filled recent rhetoric this political season, it seems that freedom is seen as a scarce commodity, something that will disappear if we give too much away.
Lock others out.
Limit their choices.
Build walls--religious/political/actual--whatever it takes to hang onto what's mine.
But last night, we went out to watch fireworks over downtown Dallas, and in a crowd of thousands, it's easier to remember that freedom isn't just something for me and mine.
We don't own freedom. It's not ours.
Freedom is a gift to us all, to be freely shared.
Freedom is one of those magical things like Love: the more you celebrate and share it, the more there is.
Real freedom, of course, goes beyond being able to vote and speak freely. That kind of freedom--precious and valuable as it is--is a tiny representation of the real thing.
True freedom extends
into every part of our souls,
into real vulnerability with ourselves and each other,
into the place where we're safe to be who we really are, to know ourselves beloved and accepted and celebrated without shame, guilt, or fear.
That true freedom belongs to all of us, and there is plenty for us all.
We celebrate our own freedom with gratitude,
and we dedicate ourselves to the freedom of others.
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
"Until we are all free, we are none of us free." Emma Lazarus
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela
"Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other." Elie Wiesel