Have you ever watched someone become a US citizen? It’s incredible. One time when we were getting fingerprints for USCIS, I walked out of the fingerprint room in time to see a group of men and women standing with their hands over their hearts to say the pledge of allegiance for the first time as US citizens.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Their families surrounded them and when they finished with “liberty and justice for all” they erupted in cheers and celebration. Tears sprung, and it was such a special moment to behold. May we never take the opportunities we’ve been given for granted. May we talk less and listen more to those around us, hear their stories, and appreciate the unique gifts they bring. My girls and I say the pledge every Thursday at our homeschool community day. That isn’t a me-centered pledge I take with my hand over my heart. It’s a commitment to the greater good. It’s a fire in my belly to fight for freedom and justice for all, not just for people who look like me or talk like me or help my bank account.
I’ll leave you with these two quotes I’ve been mulling over from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes but have yet to learn the simple act of walking on earth like brothers.” And also, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Father, show me how to use my opportunity to vote for the greater good, for the broader concerns of all humanity. If it should cost me something, may I give it freely and sacrificially just as you modeled for me. Help me make decisions not out of fear or mob mentality but out of respect for You and the life Your Son Jesus lived on earth. May I recognize the privileges I’ve been given and use those as a means to lift others up and give others a voice. Guide me, Father. Amen.