Freedom is Not Free

This is a poem I wrote years ago.  It was inspired by a statement made from a part of our church family going off to war.  It took me back to a conversation a family member had with my mom about how she handled her son being in Nam.  My mom’s reply was “I never prayed as much or as hard as when he was in that war zone.”  Folks this is what Memorial Day is about.

She hangs a yellow ribbon on her door to remind her neighbors he does not live there anymore  The one she loves and has pledged to share her life with has gone off to war  She goes about her days as she has always done  Caring for her daughter and her son  Every now and then people ask her how her family’s been    She says okay

But what she really longs to say is He’s doing fine I don’t know about me   You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights the longing to hold and be held tight  The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring him safely home to me  cause freedom is not free

A father ties a yellow ribbon on a tree  Where he use to watch his baby swing and play   He looks up to the sky and wipes the tears from his eyes As he begins to pray for his child’s safety He asked the Lord up above  To protect the one he loves  Every now and then people ask him how his family’s been  He says okay

But what he really longs to say is   She’s doing fine I don’t know about me  You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights the longing to hold my baby tight   The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring her safely home to me   all her life I kept her safe   now my baby is protecting me

We will never know what freedom cost the Holy Trinity on that long ago day  when God the father had to turn his head away as God the Son hung on the cross   shedding His blood for the lost   and the sky turned black   while Jesus died to buy His children back   I’m curious to know if He was thinking way back then   as He gave His life for our sins    that freedom is not free

It was not free when Jesus hung there and bled for you and me  freedom was not free when Jesus died to give sinners victory   There is a price for liberty    Jesus paid it all  No greater gift could any man give  than to lay down his life that’s what Jesus did when he died to release sin’s captives  cause he knew that freedom is not free.

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Parent’s Sorrow

Years ago when I wrote Promised Land on the anniversary of my mother’s death, the Lord directed me to redo the middle section on the loss of a child.  He told me that I needed to make it fit more people.  I had a conversation with Him.  I told Him that He knows I don’t like to share my work.  I worry too much about what others might think or say.  He reminded me that our talents are a gift from Him that He has the right and power to take away.  So I did what He said and shared those words.  I was amazed that so many were touched so deeply.

That was 16 years ago.  That poem has been altered to suit so many friends situations.  I have written others on the loss of a loved one but not until now has God laid it on my heart to write one especially on the topic of losing a child. I have to tell you this was the hardest one I have ever written.  I don’t mean that I had problems finding words to rhyme or line up.  This was emotionally draining.  I have had it in my head for months but feel the need to share it for Mothers’ Day.  I know tomorrow will be hard for some of you.  It is my prayer that the temporary discomfort I felt will bring peace to some of you with the words He has given me.  I no longer care of folks like my work but that they are touched by God through me.  I think my mom would be proud.

  • I was there for your first heartbeat
  • could not wait for the day we’d meet
  • I never expected to be here for your last
  • Time just seemed to go to fast
  • It was not part of my plans
  • when I counted the fingers on your tiny hands
  • There is joy mixed with my sorrow
  • of knowing for you there is no tomorrow
  • For to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord
  • the one, Who paid the price we could never afford
  • Yes His word gives the blessed assurance that you are
  • standing beside the maker of the sun, moon and stars
  • Today your with the author of our salvation, the giver of amazing grace
  • You have sung “Jesus Loves Me” right to His face
  • You’ve been reunited with every loved one
  • whose earthly race is done
  • I wonder as you’re walking on those streets of gold
  • Have you run into any of the saints of old
  • Did you have a chance to chat with the one you are named for?
  • or any of the other folks whose accounts you so adore
  • I know that I have to let you go
  • but some days the tears will just flow
  • However, there is such peace in knowing that I will see you again
  • Yes you and I will be back together after I have knelt before our God in heaven