Theology in the Trenches

Red Flags
Kathleen Kjolhaug

Religion Columnist

They dot our landscape, you know. Such a simple gesture it is when one is propped up for those who are looking for the likes of. It’s a signal … subtle at best … yet, not so … for those who scan the land of which they dot.

When a red flag is waved, it usually carries with it a sign. A warning it is when you are driving and you see one attached to something hanging over the edge of anything up ahead. Something that could cause danger if you don’t know it’s there. Take extra caution is what the red flag is screaming.

Red flags are tossed to the ground when someone is out of line in games played. Take pause is what is signaled. Take pause so we may eliminate the problem here. No more full speed ahead says the flag grounded out of protection for the participants.

Red flags can signal no more full speed ahead cause the waters ahead are dangerous. Or simply put, red flags are asking us to stop.

Stop is exactly what the little red flags dotting the landscape of the United States of America call out to the passersby. It’s a little deal that’s a big deal in our country. We are blessed with the simple opportunity to raise them. Yes we are indeed.

Case in point: Packing the grands into the car seats one day in sub-zero temps, I shortly, thereafter, packed me into the driver’s seat. As I looked to the right, there beside me was evidence of that which I’d neglected to take care of some hundred miles back.

You see, I left the farm with the little item that needed attention. Once upon the road, I forgot all about it. Now, there it sat all frozen like upon the seat as I stared just as coldly noting that the due date would soon be past. I needed to act.

Just before pulling out of the driveway, I made my way back out into the cold, stomped a path to the little black box nearby. I opened it. I closed it. And … upon closing it … I  popped up the little red flag long side that little black box and walked back to the car.

Only in America can you take mere steps knowing that with the flip up of one little red flag, a driver in a smaller red, white, and blue vehicle … or not … will stop, take the letter you have placed within, and deliver it to its designated destination.

Isaiah 5:26 makes reference. “He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, and will whistle for it from the ends of the earth; and behold, it will come with speed swiftly.”

Now I don’t suppose He’s referring to the United States Postal Service, but you have to admit that we are a distant nation, and behold it is delivered with speed swiftly. I know well that you don’t take scripture and turn it into something that meets your needs for the moment. But, I am a firm believer that we have a God who has room for humor and provides it just when we need it most. For, He alone is God and will be glorified in and through every single detail. It brings Him delight that we delight in Him. To God be the glory. Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)