"I wonder what they thought, those 56 amazing men. Those 56 men who literally valued this nation over their own lives and fortunes. Who loved freedom more than wealth, comfort, success or personal gain.
I wonder what July 3, 1776 felt like for them. I wonder if they prayed a little harder, tossed and turned, or wept. I wonder if they walked softly into their children's rooms that night, and thought; "Dear God...what am I about to undertake?"
I wonder if they lay awake all night, waiting for the dawn and wondering if it would ever come. I wonder what sort of images raced through their minds.
The next sunrise would bring the day of decision. They had spent two whole days crafting this beautiful, brilliant declaration, telling King George -in the most respectful, sacred, unbending way imaginable-- that they answered to Someone far more noble, and far more feared and honored than he. That they owed it to God Himself to take this stand, because these rights that George was crushing, did not come from George. He had been granted custodian over them by right of his nobility. They came from God. God had entrusted their care to George, and George was misappropriating that trust.
So these men...these 56 giants of wisdom, Faith, and humility, chose -on behalf of a nation-- to trust God more than their King. And in so doing, to give birth to a nation unlike any other before or since.
I wonder how far down that road they could see? Beyond the inevitable war with Britain. Beyond the unavoidable growing pains. Beyond the doubt of the naysayers and the wailing of the mothers whose sons would surely be laid waste on battlefields yet to be determined, in the name of this document they had just crafted.
That night in July, on the evening before the first day of The United States of America, all this was still to come. All our greatness, all our achievement, all our progress, and invention, and exploration, and all our losses. Our brightest days, and our darkest nights were all still to come.
Because tomorrow...they would finish this task and sign this document and the great tale of America would begin.