“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still thereOh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
A Banner Yet Waves, post-Independence Day
In an article entitled Francis Scott Key pens “The Star-Spangled Banner”, authored by History.com Editors and found at https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/key-pens-star-spangled-banner, I learned that these lyrics, first penned as a poem, were written in inspiration at the sight of the tattered United States flag still standing alone after Key witnessed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the war of 1812. I also read there that Francis Scott Key’s opportunity to be witness to this awe-inspiring moment came about from his desire to set free his friend, Dr. William Beanes, who was being held captive by the British and they were aboard a ship forced to wait. Key had successfully negotiated the release of his friend but they were not allowed to leave until after the bombing campaign on the fort in Maryland was to take place.
Closing my eyes for a second, I put myself in Francis Scott Key’s shoes and tried to imagine him and his friend waiting in apprehension as the events unfolded. Did they hear the first commands of the British to attack? Did they catch glimpse of the first bomb as it dropped? I thought of the banner of determination that first wavered in Key’s heart, giving him the inclination to seek out and save his friend that had been captured by the enemy. I didn’t research the historical account that undoubtedly has the exact time the battle started and ended and every other finite detail in between but I envisioned a man and his grateful friend sitting in a ship “relationship”, in expectation of a long night ahead with only the hope of the fulfillment of a promise made to them by the enemy, to set them free post the battle that would ensue. I wonder if they pondered… would it come true or was it was a lie. All of these things had to exist first before that glorious moment took rise at dawn’s first light for him to peer out and see our flag still standing through it all.
There are many penned accounts of men throughout history that stepped out, determined to seek and save a friend. However, there are fewer full accounts of those that succeeded in their salvation but then had to endure and await an entire battle to come to fruition to see their fulfilled promised freedom breakthrough. I have many friends that are lying in wait to see that light of what they are promised to break-through their long dark nights. They need a friend that will endure with them through the end. Are you that friend or are you able to bring them to that one that will be?
After a day where the independence of our great nation is celebrated with bombs bursting in air, I look forward to coming together with friends and family whose banners are yet waving in determination to see freedom ring true for all, including you. I woke up at dawns early light this morning and thought of the feeling that must have filled the heart of Francis Scott Key, when he peered out and saw that flag still standing in the distance, knowing the battle was over and the freedom of his friend and country was at hand.
What are you enduring and awaiting through in this daily battle we call life? What freedom or breakthrough did you wake up longing to see or experience this morning? What lie of the enemy is holding you captive today? Do you need to be healed in your heart, body, mind, marriage? There is a banner that yet waves for you, in my heart and in His, in a place, in a relationship where you can… not just hope to be set free but truly be set free indeed!
Our only hope to be completely healed and set free as a people and nation… lies in the one and only true friend…. Jesus Christ! Oh say can you see….
I’ll just leave this on the table for you…. meet with me and Him today my friend at ppineschurch.com
Fireworks for Freedom