I’ve started working on my next big project. A collection of 5 short stories based on one word. Free. Just through drafting not half of one of the stories, I have learned a lot already.
We all lead very different lives and we all have very different views and beliefs. We’ve all heard the saying “freedom isn’t free,” but have we ever taken time to really relate to this? Have we ever thought, “How does that relate to me?”
Let’s look into a few different lives. We’ll start simple. Think of a high school student whose bound down by the chains of exams, stress, judgement and/or anxiety. Maybe freedom to them is just a free day. Or maybe freedom to them is not having a curfew, something plain and simple.
Okay, now lets change a few factors. Still a high school student, but let’s say they come from a line of african american slaves as ancestors. Maybe they don’t really pay attention to their bloodline, and they just want a free day too. Or maybe they do pay attention to bloodlines, and they discovered their definition of freedom as they read the journals of their ancestors. Read about the terrible beatings, sex trades, and crowded diseased filled slave ships. Maybe they’re already free where they are, even with all of the stress and exams on their shoulders.
443,000 children in foster care in the United States alone. Foster care can have a good and bad toll on kids. Maybe a child in foster care has found a great loving home. That home, no matter how small or cluttered it is, it could be their freedom. Or maybe there’s a child in the system who came from an abusive foster care home, or just an abusive home in general. What if school was their freedom, can you imagine that?
How about we increase age a bit? A 30 year old woman is in an abusive relationship. The smell of beer slips into her nose and the sound of footsteps cause chills to travel down her spine, the same steps that used to make her heart skip a beat out of love. What does freedom mean to her? Maybe it’s just being out of the house, going to the grocery store. Or maybe it’s having a house a little bit away from her friends and family.
Modern day Israel. Christains are being held, beaten, and even decapitated for their beliefs. What do you think freedom looks like for them? Maybe it’s just one more night of knowing that they will be alive tomorrow. Maybe their dreams are their freedom, or even worse, maybe their deaths are their freedom. And unfortunately, it’s not just the people in Israel being affected. People are being beaten, held, and even killed for their beliefs everyday.
Okay, let’s take a step back. Look at yourself. Now that you’ve seen all of these situations, I’m going to ask, what’s freedom to you? Okay, now I’m going to ask you a few more vital questions.
Do you have access to a public school? Do you have stress and exams? Do you have a house, small and/or cluttered? Are you able to go grocery shopping and run errands? Do you sleep and have dreams?
These small stressful things could be someone else’s freedom. Never take anything for granted and most importantly, remember why you’re free. I don’t mean free like not having a curfew, I mean a freedom that goes beyond this earth. Jesus died on that cross to give you freedom from the heavy chains he wore, so please, don’t take that for granted.