Friday, July 18, 2008

Why does freedom cost so much?

This is a photograph of an inscription etched into the black granite at one end of the Korean War Memorial which is a few hundred yards from the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. This memorial is quite a site to behold and in many ways does more than a lot of the other memorials to put faces on the story of the events and people it commemorates. When I was walking around the monument and happened to glance up at the inscription it stopped me in my tracks and I knew I needed a picture of such a poignant and succinct phrase.
Within a few seconds of reading it my mind lept away from the realm of American History where wars have often decided who would be free and what shape that freedom would take to another realm; the realm of theology, the realm of faith seeking understanding and investing in relationsihp with God. I looked at the inscription and said it out loud to myself a couple of times. The more and more I thought about it the more I began to ask myself questions about its meaning. The final and hardest question that I was faced with in this moment of reflection was: why does freedom cost so much? I began to ask myself this question from the perspective of my faith. Why did Christ have to die in order that humanity and creation would be free from the tyranny and oppression of sin? Sacrifice is such a challenging and hard concept to wrap my head around. The cost of freedom in any and all circumstances humbles me. And so I simply pose my question to God and everyone else: Why does freedom cost so much?

1 comment:

lisatshirk said...

As I was reading this particular blog, this quote by Frederick Douglass came to mind. I have been mulling over and over this the last month or so... I think there is something to Douglass’ thoughts, especially when I think about his context. I am not sure it speaks to the WHY of it, but it does speak to life growing out of the ashes, I think.
"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."