The 6th of July

It's the 6th of July. Saturday was the 4th. We went to the parade, then to church and on to the fireworks display. The whole day was cast as a monument to freedom. But as we said the last prayer in the church service, as I bent over to retrieve my Bible from the chair so I could leave, I was paralyzed by visions which seemed to last an hour.

"Free?" A voice screamed inside me. "FREE?" Again and again. A panorama of an enslaved nation flashed across my consciousness: Men and women enslaved by drugs and alcohol and lust. Children chained in unloving, uncaring homes. Boys and girls hopelessly ensnared in prostitution and pornography.

I saw a nation imprisoned by debt. People working two jobs to pay off the credit card loan sharks and a ravenous government. I saw my children, with bowed backs, sweating to pay off a national debt which they did not incur, and for which they will receive a crumbling, dying infrastructure.

I saw glazed eyes and straining bodies losing themselves in meaningless intimacy - slaves submitting mindlessly to other slaves' visions of freedom. I saw the children created by these prisoners slaughtered and treated like common garbage while the populace chanted "Free! Free!"

I saw Coors and Budweiser - Slavers! RJ Reynolds - Slavers! Visa and MasterCard - Slavers! Hollywood - Slavers! Congress, NBC, ABC, CBS and especially Fox - Slavers! They all pander to the weaknesses of their victims, squeezing out every last ounce and then tossing the empty shells onto the trash heap when they have fulfilled their purposes.

Having been so enslaved and then released by God Almighty, my heart rended: We are not a free nation! We are surrounded by so much bondage that Nebuchadnezzar on his best day could not have dreamed it! Satan, the ultimate slaver, has a great imagination - a supernatural imagination - and a talent for presenting slavery in its best light. The thrill of an illicit encounter or the pleasure of a red-hot charge card can snare all who aren't submitted to the only loving master: Jesus Christ.

There's the key, I think: We will be eternally submitted to one of two masters. The phrase "a bondslave to Jesus Christ" doesn't mean a free agent, folks. Our Savior represents the only freedom this nation, world or universe will ever know. On the 6th of July I feel the need, more than ever, to share that simple, unchanging truth with those whom the Lord showed me in that timeless moment two days ago.