The Berlin Wall once separated East and West Berlin. After its construction, which started Aug. 13, 1961, it kept people who lived on the east side of it from a better life.
You see, the Communists built it in order to protect their turf; actually, to keep East Berliners from bolting to the freedom and prosperity democracy offered. Theirs was a better way, so their leaders reasoned, and they would do whatever it took to protect East Berliners from the inferiorities the West had to offer.
The wall stood from 1961 to 1989. Parts of it still stand today as a mute reminder of a lot of things, including the length to which people will go in order to protect their political viewpoint, no matter how errant it might be.
And, let it be noted, the Communists were willing to exact a heavy price on any who might try to vault over the wall, or tunnel under it. In fact, over the years it stood guard, 136 people caught in the act of trying to escape were summarily shot, no questions asked.
Another thing the wall reminds us of is how resilient the spirits are of those who want freedom; those who won’t stand for anything less until they get it. We who call the United States home are familiar with this mentality. It’s the same mindset that caused this nation to be birthed. As a nation, we will celebrate this bold fact in just a couple of weeks, on the Fourth of July.
It should be noted that even as I pen these words, there are millions of people caught in struggles very similar to those of our forefathers, in a variety of political hotspots around the world.
To call this freedom we enjoy even “a grand thing” is almost an absurd understatement. Think of where we would be without it. If we consider it seriously and long enough, it’s enough to make us shudder.
For instance, one of the freedoms we enjoy is the freedom of religion. Take a look at what is called “the persecuted church,” and we quickly gain added appreciation for how huge this privilege is. How many people are there today, trapped between a rock and a heart place when it comes to not being free to follow Christ openly?
In the busyness of the summer months, let’s remember this benefit, among so many other benefits of being born and raised in freedom. In fact, let’s remember it to the point that we take advantage of the opportunity before us, “not forsaking our own assembling together.” (Hebrews 10:25.)