FireworksLast night around dusk, I began hearing the boom of fireworks. Big fireworks. I went to the window and looked out, but sadly couldn’t see any sparkling colors over the treetops. I did, however, feel the glass vibrate from the percussion of the blast.

It made me think of a time many years ago when I watched fireworks with my mom. She was recovering from a leg injury and couldn’t walk into the local fairgrounds, where people sat in the grandstand to see the fireworks. Instead, I drove around looking for a place close enough to get a good view from the car.

Soon we were stopped by a man directing cars into a parking area. “Pull in here,” he said, motioning to a long row of cars. My mom rolled down her window and asked if there was someplace closer. He looked at her and then at the walker in the back seat. “Follow this,” he said, pointing to a trail at the side of the parking area. “Enjoy the fireworks.” We inched down a dirt path with potholes the size of moon craters, stopping near a fence. A handful of other cars with people inside were there too.

All of a sudden, KA-BOOM. POW. BOOM BOOM BOOM! The car rocked and bright colors exploded in front of us. Mom and I jumped. From the grandstand across the way, we heard children scream. I don’t recall seeing such brilliant fireworks before or since.

I’ve always been grateful to the man who helped us, and now I associate him with Independence Day. My mother, normally an active woman, struggled to cope with a world that was ill-designed for walkers or wheelchairs. But on that Fourth of July evening, he helped her feel free again. Each Fourth of July, I say a special prayer for him.

Are there people in your life who’ve helped your or your loved ones regain a sense of freedom? Let us hold them up in prayer especially today.