America: The Home I Love
I’ve hiked in the Alps and jumped waves in the French Riviera. I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and peered into the Roman Coliseum. I’ve walked in the “favelas” (poor neighborhoods) of Brazil and avoided the potholes in Ukraine. But even with all these international adventures, something special ignited in my heart every time my family landed on American soil. Whatever airport we stepped into—in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, or Miami—my heart knew I was home.
What makes America home to you?
To me, America is the place that freedom lives. The place where we still crave independence from oppression. It’s home to family and friends who love God and strive to make the world a better place. America is hope in the midst of tragedy, of good people reaching out to others who need shelter, healing, or a voice.
America is Caucasian police officers bringing candy and toys to predominantly African-American neighborhoods and building a rapport with the children of those communities. It’s an African-American grandmother stopping in the park to pray for a local fair-skinned cop. America is churches of different denominations gathering together for worship and prayer. America is retired nurses and doctors driving hours across state lines to take care of COVID-19 patients. To me, the true “American” spirit is a spirit of strength, kindness, and sacrifice.
On this July Fourth weekend, we may not be able to celebrate as we normally would, gathering in huge crowds to watch fireworks or sing anthems. But we can celebrate in our hearts, homes, and elsewhere what makes America home to us. I celebrate the good I see Americans doing, and “good” is exactly what God has directed us to do.
“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 NKJV)
God’s call to “do good” is tailored for every generation. Some “good” never changes, like showing love, spreading kindness, and sharing the gospel. But how we do those good things is tailored for our present-day circumstances. Today we have resources that America’s first leaders didn’t have, like radio, television, and the internet. Our reach today is broader, and that means our light can shine farther than ever before. We can do good with the resources we have and adapt our message for every person seeking independence.
The founding fathers saw it as good to declare independence from tyranny and oppression. Today let us declare independence from the tyranny of fear and prejudice. Let us declare independence from worry and despair. We can seek God’s help to stay free from harmful habits or detrimental ways of thinking. We can strive to make a difference so others may experience freedom in Christ. And God calls us to never stop doing good.
“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)
Don’t lose heart, America. Let’s be a part of the good that we want to see happen in this country that we call home. Let’s declare that our hearts belong to Jesus and we want everyone possible to know Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus is the greatest good we can share at home and around the world. If we are faithful in our generation, with God’s help we can reap a harvest of great good.