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A banner Inter-dependence Day
Fireworks explode during Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 4, 2015. - photo by Jerry Johnston
The Fourth of July is five days behind us now, but while the scent of sulfur from the fireworks lingers, let me add a P.S.

For 30 years, my wife has held a Family Fourth get-together at her home. When we were dating, I was a special guest at the event. Now, for the past 25 years, Ive been the guy manning the barbecue grill.

Originally about 15 or 20 family members would show up, but as our family has grown so has our cookout.

Last weekend, we had more than 70 people there.

I think, with family reunions flickering out, our annual celebration has taken on more meaning.

And this year, I saw something Id never seen before.

The kids were painting their faces when little Rebecca Kohl emerged with a red, white and blue peace sign covering her face.

For me, it was like seeing a purple cow.

Id never seen a patriotic peace sign before.

We children of the 1960s would never put those two things together. We had the my country right or wrong crowd on one side and the protesting peaceniks on the other and the twain would never meet.

Until Becca Kohl came along.

And it seemed like wisdom coming from the mouth of babes.

Ive thought several times about her work of art. And, for me, it meant reconciliation is always possible.

It meant Americas disgruntled rabble-rousers might actually find things to love and admire about their country.

It meant Americas super patriots might come to see acceptance as an option.

As I looked out over the crowd in our yard on the Fourth, I saw sisters whod had a tiff talking and laughing together. I saw brothers whod been estranged shaking hands. I saw in-laws who were returning to the fold.

It all seemed, well, very right.

Christians should not only bring in the sheaves; we should bundle those sheaves.

Of course, reconciliation is a big deal for me because Im a Prodigal Son. I left, played the role of the lone wolf, returned and was welcomed back in ways I didnt expect or deserve.

It's why I believe all forms of reconciliation have a spiritual side.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, it says in Ephesians 2:14.

The mending and blending of our families and friendships can be one of lifes sweetest moments.

And so I have made a resolution. New Years resolutions are common. Fourth of July resolutions, not so much. But I resolve to see the Fourth of July, from this year forward, as a day of reconciliation. I plan to do what I can to bring broken relationships together.

The Fourth of July will not be simply Independence Day for me, it will be Inter-dependence Day.

And I have the cute red, white and blue patriotic peacenik face of Becca Kohl to thank for that.
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