Sam and Pat

     Written near the end of the Obama era...

My name is Patriot, 'Pat' for short. And lately, I have been concerned about a friend of mine. His name is The American Spirit. He had not returned my calls for a long time, so last week I went to Washington, which is his beloved home, to check on him.

When I got to Washington, I began to inquire of those who were coming and going around the capitol area as to the whereabouts of my friend.  Most were 
aloof and unfriendly. And, they were very defensive. They seemed to think that I was somehow threatening them even to inquire of the American Spirit. 

Eventually, I tired of even being around these sidewalk wanderers, so I decided to go directly to the White House Visitor's Center. Though the American Spirit lives throughout the country, the White House has always been his primary residence. 

The young receptionist at the information desk was very pleasant at first. But, when I inquired of my friend, instantly her cordial expression departed; and, she became very curt. 

She said, with obvious displeasure, "We really haven't seen him around here for some time. And, he very definitely does not live here anymore. Maybe someone on The Hill knows of his whereabouts, but we have not kept up with him at all. 

"And truthfully, I really doubt if he is even in the Washington area any more.  So, if you will excuse me." And with that, she turned around to do some hastily invented busy work.

I was stunned at such rancor to so simple a question. What could possibly be so threatening about one old man whose worst vice is the great zest for life that he possesses and brings to so many others.

Oh, the times old "Sam" and I had together back in the day. "Sam" is The American Spirit's nickname. When he was young, Sam had a facetious little motto that really captured his essence. "Shoot first," he'd bellow, "and sort out the mess later." Then he would roar with laughter.

He knew he didn't mean it. He was just venting his uncontainable exuberance. And that is Sam in a word: exuberant. 

He has a heart as big as Dallas. He will give anybody the shirt off his back. But, don't rile him. It takes a lot to do it; but, Sam, when he is riled, becomes a force to be reckoned with. 

And because he is the way he is, joyous, compassionate, and fearless all rolled into one, the world mostly loves, but always respects him - always. He doesn't tolerate less. 

So, as you can imagine, it seemed especially foreboding to me, that I could not now find this one of a kind spirit in the very town he once "owned." I knew something serious must have happened.

Nevertheless, I decided that for all of her intention to be completely unhelpful, the young receptionist at the visitor center had actually given me a pretty good idea. So, I decided to take a walk up to The Hill and ask around Congress. 

In days past Sam could always be found up on the Hill. So, it certainly seemed a likely place to look.  Surely somebody in Congress could point me to my old friend.

As I walked up the steps of the Capitol Building, I was struck with its dinginess. When I spent time with Sam here, years ago, there was an energy surrounding this place. It was like a bright and shinning "city on a hill." But now...

I knew The American Spirit couldn't be in this place today. It could not possibly be so dark and lifeless if Sam was here. But, I still held the hope that someone inside would know of his whereabouts. So, I went in and began to inquire.

I spent the afternoon seeking information about my friend. But, no one seemed very interested in helping. 

Some just stared at me blankly and then moved on without even responding. Others, again, seemed offended that I would even inquire. Most just shook their heads in puzzlement, knowing nothing of The American Spirit, much less of his present whereabouts.

As the day moved on into late afternoon, I left the Capitol.  And, I was happy to do so. 

It was a suffocating place of great confusion. It seemed the people there were all trapped by some cosmic force which held them in a kind of group blah. It was grotesque, really.

"No wonder Sam abandon this place," I thought. "Sam wouldn't be caught dead in a place this messed up."

Sam was nothing if not a character.  Blah is the last thing he would ever be. Sam was always energized, daring, and boisterous with a capital B.

If Sam was in the room, you knew it. And most folks were glad he was there.  Because, most of the time - Sam brought the party. He just made people feel good and taught them how to really pursue life and celebrate it. He was contagious to the max.

Suddenly, I realized that I had started to think of Sam in the past tense. It was this frightful thought that assaulted my senses as I stepped from the Capitol Building into the dark gray of that snowy, late afternoon in Washington. It seemed the looming gray clouds perfectly mimicked my own mood as I contemplated my next move.

I thought to myself, "I know The American Spirit would not leave this place. He would die first. He is here, somewhere."

I decided that I would just start walking, maybe up toward the Lincoln Memorial. Sam always loved the view from there. He knew Lincoln well. He called Abe "the tallest of his many brave sons." He used to brag on him endlessly.

He would talk about "how imperfect Abe was, and yet, how perfect he became." And, the longer he talked about his patriot sons and daughters, the more his face beamed with that smile of his which could make the sun come up for everybody in the room.  

And then, invariably, he'd start to brag a bit.  He'd say something like, "And, I got a country full of 'em, Pat."

In a while, I found myself at the memorial. It was a good bit darker now, and the clouds seemed even lower than before - again, much like my own mood. 

Lights were now beginning to come in greater numbers in the area. The icy snow crunched under my feet as I started up the steps of the memorial. 

My head was down.  And, my nose was mostly tucked in behind the lapels of my overcoat to protect it from the bitterly cold wind that had started to blow again.

Because I was looking down and mostly concentrating on the icy steps, I almost stepped on my old friend before I realized that I had actually found him. But, there he was. 

He was sitting at the top of the steps, crouched over his drawn knees with head down and arms tucked in as a mostly futile defense against the cold. I strained my eyes in the low light to confirm that it was really him. It was - but not really.

He was thin, and frail, and his complexion was ashen and made even more so by the dim light. His clothes were tattered and dirty. He wreaked of many neglectful days. 

A half empty bottle sat next to him. And, as I bent low to look more carefully at his face, I saw the tears frozen to his cheeks.

I was reeling in disbelief, but made myself recover quickly, realizing this moment must not become about me.  So, I quickly composed myself, took off my overcoat. and carefully placed it around the shoulders of my dear friend. 

I then sat down beside him and put my arm over his shoulders. I whispered through my own tears, "Sam, what can I do." It was as if those whispered words brought to him the first awareness of my presence there beside him. 

Startled, he turned and looked straight at me.  And, for the first time, I saw his eyes. It was as if all of the brokenness of the ages resided in those eyes. They mourned with a depth that brought sadness to the depths of my own soul. They held unfathomable remorse. Reflexively, I looked away momentarily. I had to. 

When I looked back, he was again staring at the ground. I said, "Sam, it's me, Pat." He sat quiet and motionless for a few seconds as though he had not heard me. But then, he began to quake, his upper body bouncing with the depth of his sobbing, and fresh tears dropping to the ground.

"I'm sorry, Pat," he said through his sobbing. "I'm sorry you have to see me like this. My proud and noble son.  What must you think of me now?"

I knew I must answer quickly. "I think you are the greatest I have ever known, Sam, or ever will. But, something has happened to you."

"The people of this city have poisoned me old friend," Sam said, as he began to shake his head. "Everyday, they force me to drink from that bottle of their dark and twisted subversion.  And, their toxic ideas have robbed me of my vitality.

"Day by day, they have changed the good laws that once defined me. They have stripped me of my energy for true justice and equity. They have drenched me in the blood of my own unborn children. They have stained me with perversion.

"They have suppressed my faith. They have stripped me of my wealth. They have destroyed the common sense that made me trustworthy and replaced it with their devilish political correctness. They have stripped me of the winsomeness that made me inspiring.

"But, worst of all, Pat, they have taken away the hearts of my young sons and daughters. They turned them against me, and made me seem evil to my children. I am nothing without my children, Pat. But, they have taught my children to hate and despise me."

At that instant, anger flashed across me like the hot blue fire of lightening. I suddenly realized that I had been too long gone from my old friend's defense. 

"This was my fault." I thought. "I am one of his sons.  And, he has brought me great prosperity. And, I have repaid him with neglect. And now, here he sits, the one to whom I owe everything, abandoned to the hands of those who hate him.

"No more!" I thought. If God allows, I will fix this."

"Get up Sam," I said.

"What? What are you doing?" he mumbled as I literally pulled him to his feet.

I said, "I'm doing what I should have done long before now, Sam. I am coming to the aid of my precious old friend and our national treasure.

"We're going to get you in, out of this cold. We're going to thaw you out, and clean you up. And then, we're going to make a call to your brave sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters. And, if their hearts respond, and I know they will, we are going to take back your home and restore your heart and your health. 

"We are going to put these treacherous, tin-hearted, empty headed social experimenters in their place. And we will inspire our citizens to cherish you again.

"We are going to restore and establish equity, and justice, and good judgment throughout this place where you live."

As I carefully helped my friend down those icy steps, I began a whispered, but deeply emotional, rant under my breath - actually talking more to myself than to Sam.  "You want to know what I am doing, Sam? Well, this is my plan.  It is to pray for God's forgiveness and His help.  And, then I'm going to ask my brothers and sisters to do the same. And, if God grants our petition, we will clean your house, and give you back the run of this nation.

"And, when it's done, we will be much more on guard. We will triple our watch and doubled our devotion to your safety and well being."

And then, forgetting myself, I once again startled Sam as I suddenly raised my voice well above the normal tone and blurted out, "And, I promise you this Sam, we have learned our lesson. We will teach your children. They will never again doubt whether or not they ought to love and admire you, the American Spirit. We will never again let them doubt the reality of your value and your exceptionalism.

"You, old friend, are a gift from God, not just to America, but to the whole world. And, we will insist that those who teach our young, teach patriotism and not subversion. And, we will tolerate, not for one moment, any superfluous dialog on that necessity.

"Come on, old friend. Let's get you in out of the cold. And then, I've got some work to do."

                                       The End

The American Spirit - it is a wonderful, energized confidence in who we are and what we can do - both individually, and as a people. And that confidence comes, not merely from raw bravado.

The American ethos also comes through our national values: personal liberty, personal initiative, and personal responsibility, as well as charity and faith. These, values coupled with the vast and broadly distributed wealth generated by American capitalism, have always breathed "indomitable" into the American culture.

Further, the American Spirit is as surely a product of the divine redemptive plan as is the Cross of Christ. America's historical purposes may be many, but her redemptive purpose remains preeminent.

This nation was raised up by God to be a sure base from which to broadcast the opportunity of personal redemption in Christ to the modern world. And, as the driving ethos behind a strong and sure America, the American Spirit becomes intrinsic to that purpose.

But, the Darkness has its own designs for America. And so, it promotes a satanic antithesis to God’s good intentions for this nation. The intention of the Darkness is to bring down this instrument of divine enlightenment.

And, the Darkness has found very willing servants for that plan in the Marxist leadership of the Democrat Party, the Marxist Professors in our universities, and the Marxist based national press.  

All of these now engaged in a ferocious subversion aimed at destroying the American Ethos and way of life. And, it is, indeed, an existential struggle for a free, and prosperous, and faith based America. And, at the end of this struggle, America will be one of two things, as a nation.

Either, we will remain a bright and shinning nation with an ethical, energized, and self-reliant citizenship. And, in this philosophical correctness, we will continue to serve both the noblest hopes of the world and the redemptive cause of Christ.

Or, we will have become a darkened nation of listless, lazy citizens who simply wait by the mailbox for their government handout to arrive. And, it will be a handout which must necessarily become smaller and smaller as our national failure deepens under Marxist socialism merely relabeled as Liberal-Progressivism.

May God grant that the traditional American ethos will, indeed, prevail in the hearts of our citizens, young and old, through these very challenging times.