For some reason I cannot yet fathom, my wife loves me. After almost 18 years, this woman knows every weakness, flaw, and foible. She's not blind to my flaws, but for some reason she loves me anyway. She even seems to think I'm pretty good and that I also have good things, too.
I am tempted to assume that I've just hoodwinked her--but I know that's not true. A) She's too smart and B) we've been married too long.
I feel the same way about this country that my wife must feel about me.
I'm not blind to it's flaws or it's mistakes. I understand that it isn't heaven-on-earth.
If we assume that perfection is possible, then I suppose that we will always be disappointed (in countries and spouses). If, however, we take the opposite stance and acknowledge that nothing (no place, no person) in this life, is perfect and that flaws are inevitable, we free ourselves to be happy and grateful for the good.
And this weekend, I am grateful for the good! I am grateful to live in a country that has been the delivery vehicle for bringing so many blessings to so many people. I am grateful to live in a country where I am free, a country where there are so many fundamentally decent people--a country where millions of people are trying to come.
This weekend I'm not in the mood to argue about policies or platforms. I am deeply grateful to be an American and I want to bask in that.
Several years ago, when we lived in NYC, we spent the 4th of July visiting Ellis Island in the morning. In the evening, we went to a party with members of our congregation--almost all of whom were recent immigrants to this country. These two experiences were bookends for me--and they both made me profoundly grateful to be here.
Next week, we can all start arguing again. But let's take a break this weekend and just be Americans--grateful Americans.
Happy birthday, USA!
God bless America.
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