I had it happen to me again tonight. At the end of mass, we sang "America the Beautiful". I knew the singing of this song was coming. It's always in the lineup over the Fourth of July weekend. I know patriotic songs have a special way of almost always doing me in. I should have been ready for it. I was going along and doing fine, but then we got to the line, "God mend thine every flaw," and I felt it coming on. I hadn't really been thinking about that particular lyric until that moment. It kind of snuck up and sucker-punched me. Gulp. My eyesight started blurring. I managed to get it together so that no one noticed (or so I like to think).
It was that line. "God mend thine every flaw." Yep, we're flawed. I think no matter what side of the political/socio-economic aisle you sit on, we can all agree on that. Just look at the news. I love this country, but in times like these, it can be hard to see anything but our flaws. It's so easy to focus on them. But here's a secret no one tells you about flaws that you have to figure out for yourself in order to become an adult: Everything and everyone has them. Every person, family, organization, country, and philosophy has flaws. The work we do to mend them is the most important work there is. I think it has a lot to do with why we're here. Anyone can sit back and point out flaws. The real work comes in trying to make things better.
It's easy to think we can't fix the problems in America. But it's the work we do to try that's important. Along with our flaws, we have so many amazing assets like all our freedom to try and make things better. Trying to mend our flaws sure beats the alternative. I'm pretty sure it is one of the things that makes America special. So yes, God mend our every flaw. That's a sentiment I can get behind and get a little emotional about. So even though you didn't see my eyes well up tonight, I'll own up to it with no shame.
Happy Fourth of July!