By Amy McCollom
What does freedom mean to me? Lately it means that I can take my family to Pizza Hut for dinner whenever I want, or that I can organize a birthday party for my kids without fear of getting fined or hauled off to jail. At this moment in time, I cannot book a flight to go visit my sister in Texas, or make an appointment to get my hair done, or go shopping for a new dress and matching shoes. My freedoms to do as I please are being controlled by authorities above me.
Oh, woe is me. I could become a rebel without a really good cause. Join a thousand other women who want to shop for dresses and matching shoes, carry signs and burning torches, storm the malls and dress shops, cause calamity and mayhem, bust down doors and demand our freedom to shop not be taken from us.
Hairdressers around the country, and world, could band together and protest the closures of their shops, and start underground beauty services, building tunnels, passing hair clips and curlers in rolled up newspapers on street corners. They could have secret passwords to make appointments and so on.
I am surprised there haven’t been back-alley supper clubs, like the speak-easys back in the 1920’s. Perhaps they just haven’t been found out yet.
What it comes down to is that most of us are spoiled and have been for many generations. We do not understand what the loss of real freedom looks or feels like. One small injustice happens to us, and we are poised to be the heroes of our own battles. The focus is more about the 15 minutes of fame than the actual injustice done.
Real patriots take no glory; some are so obscure you seldom hear of them. They do what they do for the cause; the cause is not there just for them.
If I have learned anything over these last several weeks of being on “shelter-in-place,” and social distancing; this is just a small taste of what people in other countries face every day of their lives, and worse. What if I didn’t have a decent house with a refrigerator and stove, clean clothes, plenty of food, clean water, an indoor bathroom, electricity, entertainment, and even treats like ice cream and candy?
There are billions of people in the world who do not have any of those things, but who sing and are happy. They still go about their daily lives, living in shacks made of reused metal, or mud, or even grass or cardboard. They are still faithful to pray and worship their God. They still make food for their family who eat it and do not complain, sometimes using leaves or their own hands as plates and spoons. They sleep one on top of another, several people high in their 3 foot wide shack, while we complain we don’t have enough room in our 1,500 square feet houses.
Maybe we needed to be stopped in our tracks. Maybe we need to be reminded that everyone is not as free as we are. Maybe we need to repent for being the spoiled brats that we have become and for not showing compassion to our less fortunate brothers and sisters on this earth.
While we have no new sports to watch, or no concerts to attend, or dinner parties to plan, or work to go to, or weddings or cookouts, or church gatherings; let us all take a good look at freedoms we had that we took for granted. Let’s talk to God more, and ask Him to forgive us for living a life that was “all about us.” Forgive us for being our own heroes. Forgive us for ignoring those who deserve honor and compassion. And lest we forget once we have our “freedoms” back, let us all pray that we never forget the lessons that God was trying to teach us when our world stopped spinning.