Today is, for some, a celebration of freedom, love, and country.  Others celebrate it a few days earlier or on other dates on the calendar.  As I reflect on the celebrations around the world under this theme, I find myself crossing cultures, friends I have not seen for a time, and great lessons shared.

At the top of my list was a magical moment.  A large group had spread out their blankets to make themselves comfortable in the fading light of a hot day.  The celebrations of the day so far had been good for everyone.  There was a quiet lull as our anticipation grew for the planned flyover and firework celebration.

Just in front of me, two strangers met for the first time.  One was young woman, my guess was that she was mid-twenty, in love with life and all things possible.  The other was a young child.  My guess was that he was 4-5, shy, and wonderfully unsure but curious about life.  The first encounter was the proximity that comes from too many people and not enough room for everyone blanket on the ground unless they all connect in a wonderful quilted mosaic.  The look from old to young could have been taken in several different ways.

I waited and wondered.  Where was this moment of uncertainty going to take the two of them and everyone nearby?  There were a range of possibilities.  I had no idea which one ws more likely.

The uncertainty and fear of the first move was dispelled by a warm smile and light hearted question.  From my vantage point it look like fear met confidence, uncertainty met acceptance, and doubt was overcome with the embrace of experience.

Within the first few spaced out interactions you could see a friendship sprout and blossom.  It was magical to see the young boy laugh, smile and play with a new great friend.  I saw then and remember now what love is like!

To the two, thank you.  “Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.” (Psalm 119.64)

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