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LIBERTY

It’s not something that ‘just is’

By Craig D. Lounsbrough 

The greatest abuse that we perpetrate on liberty is our assumed right to it. We claim it as our God-given right, and we vigorously decry the unjust desecration of it when we feel that it’s being violated. Too many of us view liberty as something that “just is,” and too few see it as something that “is” only because someone, somewhere was faced with the reality that to keep liberty meant paying a stiff price.

Liberty is something that men and women trade their lives for, to ransom their dreams to achieve, and to risk all that life meant to them in order to protect everything that liberty means to everyone else. They’ve come in droves from farms and factories. They’ve left cities and small towns, family businesses and academic pursuits to stand against those who threaten it. And they’ve stood in places like Bunker Hill and San Juan Hill and Cemetery Ridge and Iwo Jima and the DMZ and the winding streets of Baghdad. They never went back to the farm or the factory. Cities and small towns mourned flag-draped coffins. Family businesses struggled on without them, and academic pursuits were left for others to pursue because they had the liberty to do so.

Other American service men and women were wounded in the defense of this country. They returned to the farm and factories, but they returned with wounds. Cities and small towns tried to understand how to cope with disabilities that changed the person that they had sent away with pomp and circumstance. Family businesses struggled to support them and academic pursuits were either taken up with great struggle or abandoned altogether.

And still, other American service men and women went missing in action in the defense of this county. Farms and factories wait and wonder, praying that through some miracle they’ll come home. Family businesses go on but always preserve some place out of the desperate hope that a vacant desk will someday be filled. Academics vigilantly stand with an empty desk at the ready as well, hoping that studies might resume and that a road to the future might once again be embarked upon.

Liberty is God’s unalterable and untouchable design. It is his uncompromising and eternally unflinching intent.  We carelessly threw it away in a garden at the beginning of time, and the cross lovingly handed it back. Liberty is God’s war cry for us, and he sent his son into the very same battle. His son died in the battle to achieve liberty for us.  The difference is that there is no flag draped coffin, and there are no impaling wounds, and he’s nowhere close to being missing in action.

Jesus died to liberate us, and then he liberated himself by rising from the very death he died to bring us liberty.  There is no greater or more far-reaching liberation than that.

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