Earlier this month we celebrated Independence Day. It’s a day devoted to freedom. We light fireworks, a symbol of a battle we fought to overcome oppression, to secure liberty, and to maintain our dignity.
Freedom. It’s such a beautiful word and I love talking about it. Here at the Los Angeles Dream Center, we hear time and time again of people experiencing freedom in miraculous ways. Freedom from addiction, freedom from abuse, freedom from homelessness.
Our current situation, in the grip of a pandemic, leads us to believe that some of our freedom is lost. And for some more than others.
Many that made progress before the virus came our way — climbing out of poverty, overcoming destructive lifestyles — are feeling defeated again. In the first three months of our COVID-19 relief efforts, starting back in March, I’ve heard firsthand too many stories of our community losing jobs, loved ones, and even homes, and it broke my heart to see people ultimately, losing hope. This crisis has been taking people’s livelihoods, well-being, and security away; causing many to resort to life-threatening coping mechanisms such as drugs and alcohol, and forcing people out of their homes rendering them not just homeless, but hopeless.
This is not freedom. When you’re free, you do not worry, you do not self-destruct, you do not have everything stripped from you. When you’re free, you are optimistic and you have peace. You are a blessing and a beacon of light to those around you when you’re free.