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A Christmas Prayer For The Soldiers

Sun, Dec 08, 2013 at 11:35PM

 

I went for a drive today, and I saw it again: a sign at an intersection that says, "God Bless America." 

 

Now I admit, I am a bit curmudgeonly by nature; however, I do think I have good reasons to be irritated by that slogan. 

  

See, I passed that sign on my way to an abundantly-supplied market, to choose the food I want for my meal tonight. I picked up the newspaper, too, looking forward to reading it with my after-dinner coffee. I truly enjoy silently arguing with some of the Letters to the Editor.

 

I turned on talk radio while I made dinner, considering the back-and-forth between the conservative host and a liberal caller. Good stuff - lots of passion there. I stared out my kitchen window, watching the neighbor kids play driveway basketball, listening to their laughter. It was a beautiful day, with a brilliant blue sky and a light breeze - just enough to make the tall pines outside my window sway a bit. A couple of neighbors stopped by with Christmas cards and treats; one of them invited me to join her at church on Sunday. I think I may go. I'll decide later.

 

My kids dropped by for dinner. They're doing great, on their own now and creating their futures. My son is moving up the corporate ladder; my daughter is a social worker. And my sister called from Pennsylvania, with the good news that there's another grandchild in her future.Thank You, Father is so often on my lips these days.

 

I'll go to bed early tonight, after spending a little time with my Bible. Hopefully, I'll get eight hours or so of sleep.

 

Then, the sun will rise, and another day will begin. A day throughout which I'll be free to come and to go as I please. To associate with whomever I care to, for as long as I wish. I'll freely place my thoughts and opinions in this public forum. I'll enjoy the abundant supply of physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual gifts granted by God to this, a free nation.

  

Those "God Bless America" signs annoy me because He has blessed America - through those before us who gave their all, through those who stand guard still, and through the tenacity of the people who love them. Because of them, I live removed enough from poverty and war, affliction and oppression, that I am naively - at times arrogantly, even absurdly - unfettered by the tyranny endured by so many on this earth.

 

And I hope I always appreciate it - that I honor, protect, and preserve the freedoms which they secure for us. I hope I remember to say, Thank You, Father.

 

And to add, Please, God, keep them safe - and continue to bless America.

 

As you enjoy your holidays, take some time to remember our soldiers and their loved ones. Better yet, find a way to show them your gratitude. 

 

Merry Christmas, everyone.

 

======================

Jenna Brooks is a columnist, coach, and author of the critically acclaimed novel,  October Snow.  Find her at her website: Jenna Brooks 


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