In the last three weeks, I have witnessed individuals from across a wide range of cultures and societies celebrating something about their countries. My casual observation suggests that across the range of emotions are at least three or four distinct responses. One I will ignore for now; it is the facial expression of ambivalence. Individuals in this case just do not seem to care. Life has gone on holiday, leaving them to be present in life, barely.
There are those that are loyal to the countries. I have no idea what he or she really feels about the country from the inside out. Externally, they are loyal, committed, and present. From Olympians to Singaporeans celebrating National Day, the obligation they feel is rigidly etched on every part of their body.
Others are wrapped up in the moment. Tears flow freely, overwhelming the context. Without doubt, they feel an overwhelming sense of happiness, pride, and loyalty. They may not know why, yet they are committed. They may have never publicly stood the flag, yet their sense of appreciation is truly heartfelt. For many, the intensity of the experience will plant the emotions of the moment deep within their soul. It may be lost in time, yet it is authentically real for at least one moment in time.
These two groups cause me to ponder, questioning the role community and God play in my life.
A third response forces me to consider a new perspective. I first noticed it as I watched Singapore celebrate National Day. Since then, I have seen the same expression repeated in the voices, eyes, and actions of others from different countries. In the first glance, you knew they were excited! They were passionately, deeply, and unreservedly in love with their country! They were committed to its ideals, but even more, they held the county's ideals as their own. They were happy to be a part of the community – no ifs, hesitations, or conditions. They were in and engaged. It was incredible to watch their faces, “what joy in the city!” (Acts 8.8)
2021 Copyright © Daily Whispers.