Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Freedom is Not Free

For every benefit, there is a cost. While I was not crazy about the city of Cleveland on my recent visit, it did have many beautiful statues. One was of a soldier, holding a cloth with a cannonball hole in it. Perhaps it was a flag. The sculpture commemorates the Hungarian Freedom fighters against Soviet oppression in Oct. 1956. The inscription on the base of the statue begins with, "Freedom is not free." That statue moved me greatly.

In the wake of the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon, I kept thinking of that statue. I read the newspaper reports that said our President did not wish to characterize it as a "terrorist attack." Say what?

Perhaps I don't understand the finer points of governing but what exactly is the sticking point for the President? Did he think the pressure cooker bombs filled with nails and small metal projectiles was meant to congratulate the marathon winners? I am tired to death of politicizing and dancing around facts to advance an agenda. This was a terrorist attack. And the other part of the media coverage that exasperates me is the suggestion this might have been a "right wing extremist." Even though a Saudi Nationalist was detained. Hmmmm.

Evil exists. No amount of being nice to evil will result in evil rolling over and asking us to scratch its tummy. I suspect our president would not want us to think that all his attempts at appeasement and apologizing and unilaterally disarming have not for some reason made the bad guys nice. And best to point the finger at a group you would like to sweep away if you could since they have a distressing habit of being critical of your world views.

In my personal corner of the world, I believe I am called upon to love others as God loves them, to forgive, to reach out to those who are hurting, and to show the blessing of forgiveness, just as I have been forgiven. But I think it is blind and foolish to think that the battle is won by unilateral peace offerings. This battle is not between flesh and blood. This is a spiritual battle for the souls of all humankind, and there is evil- raw, hateful, determined evil- that will not stop until either it wins, or it is stopped.

God tells us that in the end, He wins. I cling to that, knowing that sacrifice will be required. Because freedom is not free. The most important freedom, freedom from eternal punishment for sin and reconciliation to God, comes at an enormous cost. Just ask Jesus.

In the meantime, I love a blurb I read from one of the Boston Marathoners. She said that the enemy has made a tactical error bombing runners. Runners train through almost unendurable pain and exhaustion. This is a target that will not remain lying down. "We will run," she said, "And we will run fast, and we won't stop till we catch you."

Ephesians 6:10-14,16-20 (NIV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [13] Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. [14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. [19] Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

-save a dog-

1 comment:

  1. PS: last day to vote for my daughter in the congressional art contest-

    Hi all! My 15 year old homeschooled daughter, Asherel Kaseorg needs your votes to win the congressional art contest. To vote, click on the picture and then like it when you are redirected to the site. We would appreciate you sharing it, but please copy this blurb to accompany sharing the link. Very Important: If you just "like" the post, it isn't a vote. You have to click on the picture, and "like" it at the Pittenger Art site. (She has lost quite a few votes because people don't get that.)Thank you in advance. You can vote until April 17. She needs to be in the top 5 to make the finals. This is completely hand drawn- no copy, trace, projector, computer assist- it took her months.
    The link to her picture is: