Over the weekend my husband and I sat in our back yard with two good friends. Bruce's gardens looked cottage perfect, the weather was summer perfect, and life seemed quite perfect, too.
Our conversation turned to the proposed health care bill and other topics like "white privilege" and "male privilege," and obviously not all is perfect. In fact, not much more than the weather and the garden.
So how does one celebrate the 4th of July this year?
We have hung our flag outside the door, as we always do. We have added smaller flags to window boxes and large flower pots and our Uncle Sam vase looks happy, full of daisies and lavender and small flags. The house is festive. Now if I could only feel that way.
What does it mean to be patriotic these days?
"Make America Great Again" feels hollow and scary, and my definition of "great" may not be how others define it. We prayed in church Sunday that our president and other elected leaders would act with "wisdom, honor, and integrity," but with each passing day I doubt that can be, will be the case.
I remembered a prayer for leaders written by John O'Donohue in To Bless the Space Between Us, A Book of Blessings, and after praying this prayer the last couple mornings, I realized this is a prayer for me, too. For the way I live each day. I need to live and act with "wisdom, honor and integrity." Here's an excerpt:
May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.
May you work on yourself,
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.
May it be so.
As part of your 4th of July celebration, I encourage you to lift a prayer for our President and other leaders and for yourself as a citizen of this country and, in fact, a citizen of the world. What is your prayer? I would love to know.