Standing in the Shadow of Freedom


It’s my mantra:

  1. Be curious.
  2. Be amazed.
  3. Tell about it.

I arrive at Freedom Baptist Church early.

Walking in the auditorium, I stop at a group of photographs on the back wall.

I know what it is: black and white photographs of the men and women from this church who served our country.  Most are WWII faces.

Most  Ten Mile area churches have a wall of fame to the veterans who’ve gone before.

Mrs. Jeanette comes up behind me.  She points to a photo.  “That was my Dad.  He died the same year I was born.”

All of a sudden the wall of photos are personal.

I asked about what her mother told her about the dad she never met.

“Momma never could talk about him.  It was just too painful.”

I just shook my head.

Mrs. Jeanette said, “It’s all right. The Heavenly Father became my earthly father too.”

She pointed at the precious foster child standing beside her.  “I’m able to tell my children that God will be their father too.  There is hope.”

Once again, I’m amazed at the human spirit.

So resilient.

Full of hope.

I was amazed.

I had no choice but to tell you.
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Jeanette Maricle’s father, Elvin Hargrove.




Other veteran’s on Freedom’s wall.



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