Fourth of July weekend is the best kind of weekend. I don’t care how you spend it, there is something gloriously American about having the freedom to just RECREATE and CONGREGATE. (This post is already reminding me a lot of a Baptist preacher from Ghana that I was good friends with on my mission. “RECREATE. CONGREGATE. CELEBRATE!” I guarantee that’s an actual quote he has said in his life. He was seriously the best. We didn’t agree on a dang thing, but he somehow made me feel great about it.)
Anyway, I loved being with family and friends and eating beyond my weight in home-grilled burgers. The Fourth of July is more summery than a crayon-sun with sunglasses. It’s the MAIN EVENT. The REAL DEAL. And can I just say, sisters visiting from out of state/having nieces and nephews makes it that much sweeter?
And speaking of sweet, let’s go beyond homemade ice cream (but only for a minute… cause.) and talk about an experience I had last night on our way to the Mortensen fireworks. (Also, it’s worth more than a mention that this year, the Mortensen fireworks, all 200 dollars worth, out-shined the Kaysville fireworks by far.)
We drove up last night after work for the family show, and when we were just on the homestretch, we saw something that took our breath away.
There was one of those, blind-you-with-beauty sunsets going down, but what was beautiful was below it, earthbound and awkward – a sweet girl in a wheelchair and her father pushing her along – the rest of her family up ahead on the path.
The simplicity of the moment kind of stole up on me mid-sentence, and I found myself just staring. Then, it got better. The dad leaned in, putting his weight into propelling his daughter, and began running. They were just coming to a slope on the walking path — a big downhill dip. The daughter flung her arms out wide like wings, and the most beautiful smile broke onto her face, and then his.
(WHICH OBVIOUSLY IMMEDIATELY MADE ME CRY WITH JOY WHATEVER.)
And I thought, what a beautiful testimony to God, who is our Father. Who stands behind us and propels us – handicapped, crippled, and flawed people – forward. He moves us beyond where we can go by ourselves. He pushes us further than is possible for us alone. He, by standing behind us and placing beauty around and in front of us, helps us shoulder difficulty and become more. He takes us from rolling, to walking, to running.
And most importantly, He helps us find those moments where, despite our obvious ailments, trials, and limitations, we feel like capable winged-things, taking flight.