Friday, September 17

Friday Fiction: Outside In

Thanks for reading my offering for Fiction Friday today!!

Call me a rebel if you will, but I'm not posting fiction. The following is a non-fiction essay I entered in the FaithWriters "Think" challenge. As a rule, non-fiction does not do well in the competition, but I didn't enter this one to win. I entered it because God wouldn't let me write anything else. ;)

I hope you enjoy, and I hope it makes you think a little bit.




I hate getting caught outside the stadium when the national anthem starts playing.

When I'm inside, in my seat, I spring to my feet, place my cap over my heart, and add my voice to those of the proud fans surrounding me, at times becoming teary-eyed in gratitude for my freedom.

But outside in the stadium breezeway, among the hotdog vendors, t-shirt hawkers, and souvenir stands, pride in country all but disappears.

You see, whenever I hear those first beloved notes, my ingrained military training rises again, and, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, the command comes unbidden ... "THINK".

Out amongst the crowded masses, however, I can't concentrate on the brave soldiers who carried our banner into battle through the years; I'm too disgusted at the army of my countrymen scurrying to and fro in front of me, ignoring the musical symbol of our nation's freedom.

I can't conjure up an image of six valiant men raising a tattered flag over Iwo Jima, because the spectacle of a mom and dad herding four screaming young boys waving over-sized foam fingers makes me wonder what happened to teaching children respect for their country.

When I try to picture my brothers and sisters in service who made the ultimate sacrifice, all I see are the hundreds of citizens too busy getting where they're going to stop for just a moment in respect of the men and women who secured the freedoms they seem oblivious to.

I should be thinking about the mere children leaving their families and growing up too fast in a foreign land, unselfishly defending the rights of their fellow humans to simply live like humans, but my attention is focused instead on the children in front of me who feel entitled to clamor for more, different, better, and the parents who cater to them.

Oh, yes. Better I stand safely in my assigned place in the stadium thinking my righteous thoughts, oblivious to what remains unseen outside.

Or is it?

© 2010


Our host for Friday Fiction today Christina Banks at her blog, With Pen in Hand. Click on over and add a link to your own fiction (after reading her story, of course), or just follow the links and read along. Don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading! (We thrive on that, you know.)

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)