A Prayer for our Country…

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O Ancient of Days, our Great and Glorious God, we pray that You will grant to us the same strong conviction of Patriot Dreamers, the firm will forged on the Anvil of Freedom, the moral character of a people willing to humble ourselves before Thee on bended knee with the same sweet spirit of Abraham Lincoln who was more concerned that our country unite on the Side of Almighty God rather than expect You to stoop down and take sides in a divided nation. Enable us to take up the heart of Lincoln- ‘with malice toward none and charity for all’. We beseech You to mend the cracks along unseen fault lines, strengthen fearful minds and heal broken hearts. We dare not get ahead of ourselves by venturing into an uncertain Future when Thou Alone knows our Destiny.

O Lord our God, give rise to Hope in our hearts. Keep melancholy and apathy far from us. Help us to remain calm and unruffled in any and all circumstances. Hope is a glorious gift from the Throne of Heaven. What has kept mankind going is the refusal to stop hoping in the face of great odds, so we pray that Your Strong Hands will continue to fan the flickering flame of Hope when we are worried, tired and weary.. May we be united in prayer, united in seeking Thy Will and united in our desire to hear what You are saying. Enable us to govern ourselves so that we prize hard work and duty above rank and privilege.

Help us recognize the deep concerns and needs of our fellow citizenry and do what we can to lift them up; cherishing our obligation to love one another as You have so graciously loved us. May we abide with You and be completely convinced that You are mindful when one tiny sparrow falls and You also take notice of the fluttering hearts and the furrowed brows of Your Children and are even now, lending Your Divine Ear to our prayers for this Nation wherein we are blessed by Thee to dwell.

To our Savior, the Hope of Mankind and Lover of our souls, we make our prayer with a mighty Trust in Thee. Amen.


Have a Blessed Lord’s Day.

Love y’all, Camellia

*wonderful opening photograph of the Porches of Alabama by Jeremy Miniard @ www.jeremy.miniard.fineartsamerica.com

Strong but Fragile…

imageIt happened again. I broke down and cried. And once again, it took me by surprise. As I stood in line waiting my turn, I saw masses of people-all kinds of folks- from this country and from foreign lands waiting their turn too. Like the tangled historic roots among cobblestones, bricks, asphalt and concrete-their faces were solemn even anxious as they quietly waited, I’m sure mine was too. I read again the history of it. The difficulties, the immense courage of men in another day and time, the decision made knowing what it would cost them.image

I saw so many other landmarks, so much more history, walked in the old cobbled paths read about for a lifetime. I didn’t break down at Betsy’s House or in Ben’s Business, I didn’t even break down as the tour guide pointed out- place after place where history was being made so many years ago. I didn’t break down at Christ’s Church, though I was deeply moved.

Dare I say it? I love this country. I love the red, blue and white star spangled flag and even though it is off-key I do love to sing the national anthem. I still put my hand over my heart when I pledge the flag. Every. Single. Time. I get exasperated with my country, the kind of exasperation I feel when I find a new wrinkle or another gray hair. Not the kind of exasperation that would ever make me want to give up on her, my roots are among those cobblestones, bricks and concrete too.image

This country is Strong and Freedom has always been Fragile. What started as a Dream, a Pursuit and a Bill of a Dozen Right Ideals were formed in the Fiery Furnace, a Foundry filled with the lives and fortunes of a few good men. On a heavy wooden beam their hopes were mounted and hoisted up with the strong belief that there was a better way to form a more perfect union. No one noticed it was imperfect, that a hairline crack had formed. After loudly proclaiming freedom-there was always the possibility that it could break, the ringing could be silenced and the whole idea would become a shining part of world history. image

A dozen years ago, I saw it. I broke down and cried. It took me by surprise then and it took me by surprise again last week. I saw masses of people yearning to be near her, I saw my own family pause by the Liberty Bell- The Liberty Bell spoke to me gently in passing and then I cried.  She stands silent, she stands in full view of Constitution Hall- a Strong Fragile Lady aging gracefully, unruffled and calm.. Even her tiresome quarreling children became quiet and reverent, desperately trying to be more perfect, more united in her presence. Beneath the hem of her garment, created equal with certain inalienable rights-Liberty’s children share her Love of Freedom.  This Southern Belle knows a true Lady when she sees one. Lady Liberty, I salute you, Darlin’.

May God’s generous Grace, His unmatched Mercy and His abiding Love continue to shine His Glorious Light upon you.image

Our Holiday Vacation was an inspiring trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The City of Brotherly Love and the Birthplace of Freedom-where the Lovely Ladies are Strong, the Goodlookin’ Men are Brave and the Children of Liberty strive to be Far Above Average.*

Love y’all, Camellia

*quote- is a play on Garrison Keiller’s statement about the fictional Lake Woebegone – ‘Where the women are strong, the men are goodlooking and the children are all above average.’

All photographs are mine- from Old City, Betsy Ross House, Benjamin Franklin’s Print Shop, Elsfeth Alley, Constitution Hall and of course- Liberty Bell Center