I was raised to place my hand over my heart and proudly say the Pledge of Allegiance and as one classroom we would sing My Country Tis of Thee. My grandpa served in WWII, my dad was a navy man, my father in law and brother in law were marines. I am surrounded by men who proudly served the country I live in and I know they would do it again. They believe to this day in the freedom they fought for and freedom they would fight for their children to have. The freedom to worship as they wanted not what someone told them they had to be. I, too, am so very thankful that I live in a country with so many freedoms.
With that said I have begun to ponder flags, national anthems, and country borders. I have begun to see that flags and anthems begin to place borders in my mind. These borders often make me forget that the people who live in other countries with different flags and anthems than mine are also God’s masterpiece and creation. I forget that they too are people God loves and he wants to have a relationship with them too. They become people I fear and the fear makes me see them as my enemies. When I see them as enemies I begin to not be able to see them as people who God loves.
This fear thinking does not end with other countries, it also is real in the country I live in. We have become a country who is fighting from within and I believe one day we will explode from the inside out because we are so busy fighting for our rights. We are no longer a free nation, we are so busy getting back at the other side that we have begun to forget that we are all people. People who live in a world that is down right painful to live in. We are hurting people who continue to inflict hurt on others. We don’t like that someone disagrees with us, so we take it personally, we say I will squash this person or group of people. We are so busy waving our flag of injustice that we are unable to see each other as people. Instead we step on one another, so long as I have my rights and I now have my rights and can do whatever I want to, no matter that I have squashed you in the process.
Maybe this is me wanting to live in a Utopian world and I think until Christ comes back there will always be people out there hurting one another and calling it justice, calling it rights, and yet in the end hurting back is the name of the game. Let us lay our literal and figurative flags down, let us lay our anthems down, let us see each other as people who are trying to live in a hurtful world. Let us allow each other our views and opinions without forcing each other to believe the same. We as adults would do well to remember that if what is said is not true about us, then let it go. I watch as a hurting world continues to put up walls, thick ones, and it breaks my heart, it’s overwhelming. Flags, anthems, and borders separate us, they make us forget that we are all God’s people whom he loves and cherishes. I have begun to see the world without borders, I have begun to see the world as perhaps God sees it one world he made for his enjoyment to share with us. A world he desires to walk with us in but was corrupted by sin, a sin that continues to have generational hurt, but Christ has made a way for us to come back to the creator, the master artist, the master gardener. There is a way back and I choose to begin to see the world without flags and begin to see it as one people.