Every year around the Fourth of July we here in America celebrate our independence. One of the most obvious signs of this celebration is the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of American flags we see adorning homes, businesses, and the graves of our veterans. While we all know the symbolism of the flag – fifty white stars for the fifty states, and thirteen red and white stripes, one for each original colony – we don’t often think about the folks who make them, stitching each star and stripe into place.
One of those special people is Aaron Alexander, a young man from California with learning disabilities. He hasn’t allowed his physical setbacks to stop him. Each day he shows up for work prepared and dedicated, sitting at his sewing machine, checking every stitch on every flag he makes. His work ethic and attention to detail reminded me of this verse from Proverbs: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29, NASB).
True to that timeless biblical wisdom, Aaron’s work has been recognized as some of the best in the country. It is so good that his flags are now used to honor the fallen soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. While this is an incredible honor for any American, for Aaron it bears special personal significance.
You see, Aaron’s father was a Navy veteran. When his father passed away, Aaron crafted the flag that would drape his father’s coffin. The feeling of completing that task was both humbling and fulfilling for him. In his way, he was able to use his skills to bring honor to his father, who like many Americans, fought for that red, white and blue flag we all celebrate every summer.
This Fourth of July, I hope we’ll remember Aaron’s lesson of honoring the service of those who have died to protect our freedoms through taking pride and using great skill in even the smallest of details that represents our great country. Even more importantly, let us remember that all the gifts and abilities that we have as human beings, bought by the life and death of Christ, are to be used in such a way that they reflect the goodness, glory and faithfulness of the Lord and God of all cultures, nations and peoples!
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of LIFE.