Reading, Teaching, Learning

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Freedom

 
     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
 
This week's theme is FREEDOM.
 
 
     This post was inspired by two books I'm immersed in right now.  I'm listening to the audio of I Am Malala by  Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb, and I'm reading A Night Divided by Jennifer Neilsen
 
 
 
     I'm struck by the real life story of Malala and her experiences under the tyranny of the Taliban, and the fictional story of Gerta under the Soviet regime, her family divided by the Berlin Wall.  The people in both stories put their lives and their family's lives on the line to fight for freedom - freedom to worship, learn, and speak.  We can freely attend church, go to school, assemble when we want to, vote, speak out, and travel.  We have plenty to eat, we're mostly safe, we can make career and family decisions, and can read and write about subjects of our choice.
 
     I pray that I never take that freedom for granted.  I pray they are never taken away.  I pray that if my freedoms were infringed upon I could stand up and speak out.  God created us to be free, to have the ability to choose, and to be unique and special.  May each of us use our gifts to contribute to the world in a positive and productive way!
 
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  - Galatians 5:1
 

Freedom's Plow - Poem by Langston Hughes

When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
He starts first with himself
And the faith that is in his heart-
The strength there,
The will there to build.

First in the heart is the dream-
Then the mind starts seeking a way.
His eyes look out on the world,
On the great wooded world,
On the rich soil of the world,
On the rivers of the world.

To read the rest, click here.

 


 
 
 
 

5 comments:

  1. Did you see Malala on the Ellen DeGeneres show?!?! I cry every time I hear her speak. There is a documentary coming out about her. I can't wait!!! Thanks for sharing these books.

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    1. No! I'll need to look that up. Thanks for letting me know. She's amazing.

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  2. Holly, freedom was the right choice for this week's SJT. We think of freedom as an abstract concept but in reality it is the fabric that clothes America. Langston Hughes' poem is an amazing tribute to the notion of freedom. Thank you for shedding light on that poem that I have never read.

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  3. My first thought, when I heard this week's theme, was images of Syrian refugees fleeing across borders, waiting at train stations, tramping miles and miles carrying babies and suitcases. It's such a graphic illustration to me of the lengths people will go to gain freedom. It is something, as you point out, that we tend to take for granted. Thanks for drawing our attention to this vital topic!

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