I wrote this a while back, now I've edited it a bit and thought it would be an interesting thought for this holiday weekend.
Who among us is truly free? In all times of history, in all chartable lands, who can claim true freedom?
Obvious, the oppressed are not free, subject to the oppressor. But what then, is the oppressor free? Not subject to the tyranny they dispose? Never subject to the cloud of the potential coup? Can they rest for one moment, lifting their heavy hand from the instrument of control?
Tell me of your freedom, you of democracy. Has every verdict in the polls left you well? Never winded? Never breathless with frustration? What do you carry with you throughout your history but the mounting tyranny of taxes, obligation, duty?
You, with your right to own, tell me of your freedom. Where is it that the things you own come from? Does your freedom rest in the financial or political power of the day? And yet when have those ever stayed constant? When have they ever been without risk? When have they ever been without a grand price? Who watches your holdings while you go to rest in a foreign land?What of the threat of jealousy, revenge, rot? What are those bars and blinking lights? Dust rag in your hand.
You, moving freely about, where are you going? Do you move where you want? See the others with you. Don't you feel the movement around you? Like a water droplet in a waterway you move with the flow of the whole, move with the tide. Isn't your art subject to inspiration and consumption, your passion to bodily ability, attraction, interpretation of justice?
Now what? Lie down, cave to the power of time and location, fate? Feel the green weight of freedom heavy in your belly press against your spine? Burning like the pepper swallowed moments ago. Won't it burn hours from now? Lie down with ease when so much of you burns with thoughts of freedom? But where can you go? In all the annals of history, in all the chartable lands, where can you find the freedom, the freedom that relieves the burning? Why does the accursed feeling continue inside, in spite of the verdict, the writing on the wall? The feeling, the desire, eating like a parasite, rumbling in the night, no rest.
Numbed yourself yet? Grown up and out of ideals yet? Reality struck, this is free. The shackles they are but illusion. Whisper yourself the truth, freedom comes from within not without. But your biting, lashing, fearing mind? What of that? Just exercising it like a muscle on your gut, keeping it in shape just for looks. Disappointment, shame, frustration, disillusion, ridicule, argument, distrust, anger, jealousy, they are just illusion, not reality. You do not lack freedom, those illusions, the shackles of emotion, never cost you sleep or rest. Confident you are in your possession of freedom. The pepper, not a lacking, not a hole, not an ulcer. Not true that you are chained to your freedoms, foaming at the mouth to protect, snarling, snapping, lashing sleeping with eye open, nerves open to the new claimant, the over-thrower, the stealer of freedom.
Then who in all the times of history, in all of the chartable lands can find real rest in the midst of the smoulder acrid smoke of defense? Who is able to avoid all fear, never quake to the bone? Where in all of history in all of lands can there be found peace, rest from want, retreat from fear and timidity? Where is a hero to be found who never ducks the slap of the blade of anger, yet never raises the blade of retaliation? You will not find one in the books of man, records of times or of men gone by.
He is. He is free. No simple hero. Though a hero's pattern he has become. He is free, He operates here in freedom, shows us freedom, gives us freedom. He has no regret, he feels no need of revenge though he is unjustly struck. What appears to be a blow was not, He was free of the sting. A hero's reserve He supplies. He brings the sweet spring of freedom for everyone. Not just on one page in the annuals of history, not just on one chart. A gold and red braid woven throughout all. And if we would but only drink deeply from His wellspring, we would know his Freedom. He, his Freedom, certainly is from without, but He lives from within, He comes to us, calls to us, we take Him in, He flows out unendingly, we are never without Him, always free.