July 8, 2022

On Independence Day, Cathy and I went to Freedom Park in Orem, which is part of the Freedom Festival in Utah County. As usual, they had a lot of people dressed in colonial era costumes explaining Revolutionary War events, reenacting the Battle of Concord and Lexington, and demonstrating such colonial era trades as blacksmithing, barrel and bucket making, gunsmithing and bullet making, apothecary, tailoring, and printing. Cathy's personal favorite was watching the doctor demonstrate how to use each tool in his amputation kit to cut someone's arm or leg off without anesthetic.

The Provo and Orem Freedom Festival includes the biggest exhibition of its kind west of the Mississippi. (Just east of the Mississippi is Nauvoo.) We had a great time learning or relearning how painstaking it was for people in that time to maintain a decent standard of living, let alone wage a war for freedom against the world's most powerful empire. Huzzah!

One of the crafts being demonstrated was rope making. They showed us how to take some wispy and fragile pieces of hay and twist them to make them stronger. Cathy and I each twisted one strand and, while we did, the rope maker twisted our two strands together--which makes an uncommonly strong rope.

It occurred to me that rope making is a good analogy for love. Apart and undeveloped, the individual strands of hay are relatively weaker. When each has been worked and twisted, each forms a stronger strand to add to the rope. As the two strands are worked and twisted together by the rope maker, their strength multiplies and becomes unbreakable. (The 13 colonies were individually weak. But united, they defeated the most powerful army on earth.)

In this parable, of course, the rope maker represents God and His mystical power to weave two souls together and help them become one. If you look at the rope, you can't tell which strand Cathy worked and which one was mine. Even we couldn't tell you. They are so interwoven that it is really impossible to know who did what. We just know that we worked together with the rope maker to create a very strong and unbreakable rope. We are many times stronger together than either of us would be on our own.

As you work to create relationships, start working your strand of the rope. Make it stronger so it can contribute meaningfully to an unbreakable rope. Look to the rope maker to coordinate your efforts and bring them together into one great project. Realize that your strength is multiplied in a unified effort. A strong rope will bind you together when all the other forces in nature are trying to pull you apart.
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