Category: Reflection

An Appreciation for the Flag of the Dominican Republic

There’s more to appreciate the Dominican Republic than its fine cigars.  

Dominican Republic FlagOn a recent trip to the Dominican Republic (DR), I visited with friends who are missionaries in the Santiago area. My friend Toby showed me the DR flag, which contains many admirable qualities.

My favorite feature of the flag is the Bible in the middle of the banner. My good friend told me that the DR flag is the only national flag containing an open Bible. Moreover, I learned that in the Dominican’s constitution that this Bible is open to John 8:32, which reads “Y conoceréis la verdad, y la verdad os libertará,” which in English reads, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (ESV).  

The words on the DR’s flag, “Dios,” “Patria,” and “Libertad” mean “God,” “Fatherland,” and “Freedom.” Apparently, the founding fathers of the DR valued all three of these.   

dr-flag-middleMy prayer is that the people of the DR value their freedom. Mostly, I pray that Dominicans and everyone — in every nation — come to realize the truth of where true freedom is found: In Jesus Christ!

In the same context, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36, ESV). John also recounts Jesus’ words to His disciples when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV). 

A Note of Joy

The following is a semi-poetic bit of writing that I did about a decade ago. I wrote it while smoking cigars with a friend and room-mate at the time. It was in part inspired by the cigars, and speaks to the Joy in life that I seem to find so often with good friends and a good cigar.

With a Note of Joy

The draw of a cello string, just one, slow and soft, but strong like a loving father’s guiding hand. The rich resonance of a cello is his joy in me as the day is birthed. A joy neither loud nor flamboyant, yet deep and powerful an age-ad river of great depth who’s complex eddies and currents move ardently onward, the flow of joy both peaceful and relentless. With a note, he calls to me, a call of security and loving familiarity. With the draw of a cello string, my father’s spirit bids me rise to go forth in his name.

The rising voices of violins, slowly gathering as they approach the brink of symphony, like a man upon the precipice. The song of singing violins is his joy in me as I prepare to serve. A joy bursting of hope and promise, bringing a spring to the heart. A spring whose doors are flung wide to new worlds, to be astounded by the beauty of horizons never before dreamed of. The strings give me a taste of more, a promise of the symphony to come. With the song of singing violins, my father’s spirit bids me experience the adventure in his care.

The strum of a guitar, distorted and brutal as it finds its groove, like a soldier with force it compels. The surge of the guitar is his joy in me as I suffer for his sake. A joy rooted deeper than any happiness, founded on his rock. The foundations support a joy that fortifies a castle whose citadels cast a strong light into the darkness. The groove’s sound is an inspiration it speaks of power. Its warm reverberation keeps all chill from the heart. With the surge of the guitar, my father’s spirit bids me carry on in the face of all his enemies.

The ring of a flute, quick and solo like a bird rejoicing at the wonder of his flight.  The twitter of the flute is his joy in me as his blessings overflow. A joyful of exhalation like a dance of wild abandon, all reservations thrown aside spinning fervently through long grass with a heart as light as air. I revel in this joy’s music, frolicking in the glow of glory. With the twitter of the flute, my father’s spirit bids me come and dance and overflow in love.

The draw of a cello string, just one, slow and soft, but strong like the taste of a single malt. The rich resonance of a cello is his joy in me as the day runs down to dusk.  A joy neither loud nor flamboyant, yet deep and powerful an old man’s sigh at the end of work well done. A joy seen in the embers of a dying fire, felt in worn leather of a chair, smelled in the fragrance of a pipe and heard in the note of a cello string. It whispers soft fulfillment in my ear. With the draw of a cello string, my father’s spirit bids me come and rest in loving arms.