Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Blessings of our Age

Earlier I discussed the aching heart of separation from family.

It is true that many of us have chosen careers or paths that take us to the ends of this continent and globe.

We live in an age of technology that can bridge vast distances and increasingly easily. I can talk and see my wife and daughter on our computers at no cost (remember when such a concept was Star Trek science fiction?). I can talk to my mom anytime when we are both on the computer -- again at no cost.

No, this is not the same as a hug. No, this is not the same as tickling.

But, these are choices.

Now, imagine for a moment you are living only a century earlier.

You can only hear or see your loved ones in person (the written word was arguably better in earlier ages, and certainly more practiced -- will email and blogs cause further decline in writing or revive an age of letters?).

Imagine the heartache of travel and time away from your family.

Further, imagine that separation from your family is not voluntary.

While watching Fiddler on the Roof last night, I was struck by the overflowing Blessings of Liberty and Freedom we enjoy today. Those who have seen this bittersweet musical now the ending only too well.

A family, no, a people being uprooted and separated from their homes simply because someone says they do not belong.

Imagine being a target of a government pogrom. Imagine being forced from your home, your children being taken from you.

An era where goodbye is for all time here on earth.

No joyful anticipation of the phone call, only the anxiety of waiting for the next letter which often takes weeks to arrive.

Or, reflect upon writing a letter to a loved one never to receive a response. Without your knowing, they are a victim of a pogrom -- being murdered simply for who they are (or are not).

Could it happen again? Could it happen here?

I don't pretend to know, but I do know that Never is a very long time.

I do know that we are Blessed here in America, and that many have given all for these Blessings.

I also know that Faith in God (or at the very least living in accordance with the laws God has given our civilization) banks our passions.

However, passions overflow banks of civility in many parts of the world today.

While we must remain diligent, we must also live a life full of expectancy and celebrate our Blessings.

Imagine the Wonder we can instill in our children comprehending the sweep of history and our place in this Age of Freedom and Liberty today.

Only then, listening to and glorifying God while exercising our rights and responsibilities, will Never happen.