Brenda’s Blog – July 25, 2023
“Bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night.”
My friend Dru Woods did a Facebook live video on the morning of July 4th. As she sat at her piano she retold the dramatic story of the Star Spangled Banner’s origin. Afterwards she turned and masterfully played a majestic arrangement of the national anthem. What a fitting way to begin Independence Day.
The words bounced around in my brain for several hours. Then it struck me what a blessing the firing of guns provided. All through that long siege Francis Scott Key and the others stood aboard ship in the harbor overlooking Fort McHenry as the revolutionaries battled the British for control. The only sign of dominance was the presence of the flag – whether Union Jack or Stars and Stripes.
The darkness of night kept everyone from knowing the outcome – except when the bombs and fiery missiles went off. Then the sky lit up momentarily and the men could tell which flag was flying.
In the morning’s light they recognized the Stars and Stripes, but throughout the long night they had to wait for random bursts of light from the battle.
It occurred to me our lives have similar situations. In the darkness of trials and sufferings we don’t know the outcome. Yet, there are moments even in the heaviest part of the struggle when light shines letting us know where we are and how we are doing. The flashes of the warfare actually give us knowledge we didn’t have before. In those difficult times precious blasts often clarify the direction we are taking and lighten the path. We see if we are making progress and we see a bit more of the pathway. So, like Key, we can use those momentary lights (even though they are coming in the heat of war) to get our bearings.
The morning inevitably comes as it did for the soldiers at Fort McHenry. American history records that the battle scarred banner still held its position on the pole. We, too, often find when daylight arrives after tremendous conflicts, we see that we are on the winning side and our flag is flying.