On this past holiday weekend, we realized that pre-COVID-19, July 4 normally rolls around every year pretty much the same. The day of the week varies, but expectations and planning play out in copy mode—American flags are posted and waving everywhere! There is more presence of red, white and blue than we typically see. Then, there are gatherings of family and friends, fellowshipping at BBQs, devouring hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, baked beans, coleslaw, chips, cakes, pies, soft drinks, and yes, those ‘leaded’ drinks that we enjoy— sometimes sipping; oftentimes gulping via the infamous red cup. lol
This year, it was quite different. Soooo much is not so normal! In the midst of months of this pandemic, societal ills, such as an intensified push for racial equality, a remnant COVID-19 socio-economic breakdown, and a White House administration that should have everyone questioning, “What is this?!?” Let’s not forget that on this year’s 4th of July, some of us now have a new or renewed perspective of what this celebratory independence really means. We have a refreshed mind of the “why” and the “when” we celebrate freedom, as Juneteeth, June 19, 1865, has taken on a fresh knowledge of history. Knowledge is indeed power!!
Well, then there’s the added change in the physical presence of those who are not with us this July 4—who have left the natural space of this world, and also those who, for whatever reason, we’re unable to touch or visit (the experience that I’m having with my mom😔). Grief is a beast, and separation from family, without viable option, is a tough, tortuous animal too. Seems like a ride on emotional bumper cars, stopping at the corner of COVID & Crossroads Avenue…
All of this unfolds from that ‘c’ word— CHANGE!! Change that makes us belt out Marvin Gaye’s lyrics, “What’s goin’ on?” We are all asking that question these days. Why this? Why now? How will we adapt to this c-h-a-n-g-e? What are the residuals of all of these unknowns….the efficacy of CHANGE! Everything changes, right?
Well, as I sort through, yet again, the elements of where we are and all of the different things that we are either temporarily experiencing or the possibly permanent life changes–those new norms, I’m reminded that God’s tender mercies are fresh every day…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations3:22-23(ESV). What a blessing that is to my spirit this 2020 post-July 4th?
Yes, fireworks have taken on a change in 2020…all of them, even those sordid extremely personal ones. What is a constant ‘known’ in ALL things is this…God’s presence doesn’t change! His love is unconditional! He is absolutely the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow! We may not have let that permeate our minds or our spirits on July 4, 2020, but today is a great day to be reminded. Today, tomorrow and each day afterward are, respectively, great days to settle into the love and stability of a never-changing God. It is His presence, not the presence of people, that gives me peace…in and out of fireworks season, at the corner of 4th & Change Street or at the intersection of Anyday & Anywhere Street!
Things change; people change; feelings change; mindsets change; sparks can accompany it all. Let our Focus on our FAITH and the Favor of God be the basis of our fireworks! Feeling it in the relaxation of this beautiful, sunny and warm, yet lightly breezy Saturday morning…☀️
Peace & Blessings,