“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” ~ Galatians 5:1
The abundance of our American freedom has eroded our ability to appreciate it. Most of us have no concept of a lack of freedom. We’ve grown up in freedom’s excess, to the point we both neglect it and abuse it. But we don’t really appreciate it.
Today I’m trying to imagine what my writer life would look like without the constancy of our liberty. We live in a time and place where a writer can write near about anything he or she wants to. We can post updates on twitter and Facebook, craft blog posts, upload e-books, self-publish a collection of essays or stories, send out mass emails and distribute newsletters. With relatively little effort, we can inspire and influence hundreds and thousands with our words. Sure, at times it’s arduous and it feels like we have to jump through a ridiculous number of hoops to get our words in print. But the more I think about it the more I’m convinced those complaints sound a bit like whiney children who ate steak and ice cream for dinner but complain that they couldn’t have brownies, too.
Let’s not forget the writers over the ages whose words were written in secret and then smuggled at threat of imprisonment or worse. Writers like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who wrote truth that smacked the evil of Hitler and his Nazi regime square in the face, knowing his words would eventually mean his death. Or what about the scribes who tirelessly inked the holy scriptures, words that I read from one of my dozens of Bibles without thought to the time and effort it took to land it on my kitchen table in 2010?
Yes, today is a day to celebrate those who fought for our freedom. It’s also a time to remember and fully appreciate those who determined to fight for freedom by writing words at a time when it was far more difficult and risky to do so.
“To be free does not mean to be great in the world, to be free against our brothers and sisters, to be free against God; but it means to be free from ourselves, from our untruth, in which it seems as if I alone were there, as if I were the center of the world … God’s truth is God’s love, and God’s love frees us from ourselves to be free for others. To be free means nothing else than to be in this love, and to be in this love means nothing else than to be in God’s truth.” ~ A Testament to Freedom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer