Our Flag Waves Over the Brave and the Not So Brave


The stadium is packed; the Army Navy game is ready to start. The public address announcer has to turn the volume up for the announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen: Please stand for the Invocations and remain standing for the National Anthem.  The crowd grew silent, and the Chaplain’s voice filled the stadium. He delivered an amazing Invocation. The cadet and midshipman choirs were lined up on the field to sing the National Anthem. It was a beautiful sound and a beautiful sight. The stands were filled with reverent people, people who were showing respect for our Christian Heritage and our flag. What a wonderful moment.

As I watched this scene with butterflies in my stomach and pride in the total representation of the best of our great nation, I couldn’t help but remember another scene witnessed several times recently. That was the scene at several professional football and basketball games, and I suspect many others that I don’t know about; when Colin K. and other athletes failed to stand, took a knee, or used other ways to protest their view of social injustice or something they think is wrong with their great country. But I guess they don’t think it is so great. It only allowed them the opportunity to become very rich. It only allowed them to stand up in protest because of the great documents that give them “free speech.” It allows them the freedom to dishonor the flag and the national anthem.  

Then my mind shifts back to the Army Navy game. Wow. What a sight. The young men and women who carry the flag to the far-flung corners of the world, who fight and die for the things that flag stands for, and who pledge their allegiance to that red, white, and blue beauty, were still standing with dignity and respect as the last sounds drifted away. They will give their life, if necessary, to protect the freedom of those who dishonor it. They will climb mountains, march in mud, sail in stormy waters to plant that flag as a declaration of freedom. 

Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the Land of the Free, and the home of the brave–and the not so brave? Fortunately for all of us, Yes.








God, a Fly, a Hummingbird, and I

The sky was filled with cotton ball clouds. The air was so still that I could not detect a palm frond moving. As I sat quietly in the warm California sun, 70 degrees, I could not hear a sound. The usual symphony from my birds was missing. The noisy sound of the crows, the swish of a hawk flying close overhead, and the unmistakable sound of a roadrunner–all missing. I walked to the end of the driveway to check what  was “out in the open” away from the house. It was just as quiet out there. Amazing, Not only was it quiet, I did not see any sign of animal activity. That is a first around my place. It was so quiet that it was difficult to be quiet. There were no sounds to block out, no animals running around, not even a fly to brush away. 


I came back from my walk and sat down again on the patio where I was sitting before. It was still quiet. As I was contemplating the difficulty of trying to be quiet when quiet was already in place for me, a brave fly ventured into my environment. Wow. Believe me, a single fly in a place where horses, dogs, coyotes, raccoons skunks, squirrels, rodents, and many other creatures live, is an anomaly. But as I was staring into my quiet space, a humming bird darted in. What an amazing creature. There aren’t many bright things in bloom right now, but this incredible creature found a few petunia blooms on a pretty sorry looking basket. The little creature was gone in a flash, and I was left contemplating my quiet environment.


In the midst of all of my “very important things” to do each day, today I almost missed a free gift–a quiet, meditative, peaceful place, something I seek each day, to commune with my Creator. it is amazing what one fly and one hummingbird can teach us. 


Sometimes we are surrounded by a sea of what we are looking for, but we don’t see it because we are so busy looking.