Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th of July


Each year when the 4th of July arrives, I can't help but think of the freedom I have gained from active addiction. It's not so much anything I have done, I believe it's a gift of grace, pure and simple.

I lived in Oakland for many years and there was a man who was a counselor in a drug treatment program who got clean in NA. Ray P. is a great speaker and he would end his pitches with the same words, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last." When I heard him, as even now as I write these words, I get goose bumps.

I thought today would be a wonderful day to print an excerpt of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mighty speech in the hope that we will ponder, even if just for a moment, what freedom really means.

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character . . .

I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama ... will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning 'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"

So tonight and tomorrow, have a safe and wonderful holiday.


4 comments:

Meg Moran said...

Amen... thank you sharing

Christine said...

thank you so much

goosebumples for sure!

Happy 4th

Syd said...

I am hoping that Dr. King's words and prophecy will eventually come true. We've made progress but our society is far from perfection.

msb said...

Just the other day I thought about the world and just how wonderful it would be if some magical spell would transcend and everyone in the world would be infused with compassion.