Texas – born and raised. I’ve lived here in the heart of the hill country my whole life. Aside from one brief trip to California, I’ve never even been out of the southern United States, and even that trip was spent mostly on a military base (Camp Pendleton). Suffice it to say, I’m well inundated in southern culture.
However, I am well educated, and I have friends from all over the world. And many of my close friends are not locals. (I know I’m friends with Yankees, y’all, but I promise they are born-again believers, it’s ok ;)
And frequently, when people come to visit, they often comment on how “weird” things are in Texas. I get it, it’s hard to move to a new place with new culture. But I get frustrated when the complaints keep rolling in, but yet, people keep moving here. The other day I overheard some friends talking about what is there to do in San Antonio – where there’s the Alamo, they said – what kind of state makes such a big deal about a battle they lost. And you know, that just got under my skin.
For those of you who “ain’t from around here” – the Alamo represents the best of Texas heart. The men were outnumbered almost 200 to 8,000! And the nearly 200 were mostly just your dad and brother and second-cousin Bill – they were up against Santa Ana’s army! But they literally drew a line in the sand and said that they would fight for their homeland – and every man gave their life holding off this army for eight days (I believe). And this incredible act of heroism rallied the rest of the Texans to fight and we won the war. They may have lost the battle, but their sacrifice turned the tide.
In Texas, you won’t find people threatening our right to bear arms, and you are rarely likely to find some psycho threatening our families and children, because every good ol’ boy and girl is packing and we’ve got good aim folks.
The Bible says that those who “live by the sword, die by the sword”, and we don’t live by the gun, either, we are just not going to let some gangster, thug, terrorist march in and threaten our families and friends – and we’ll lay down our own lives if it means that those we love, and often those we don’t even know can be safe and free.
And “good ol’ boy” – it’s a good thing – not some ignorant, wealthy politician from the south – the good ol’ boys here, are the people that still value working to provide for your family, they are honest and trustworthy, and they’ll give the shirt of their back if you need it.
And perhaps our hair is big and we like a lot of rustic stars or turquoise crosses and we say things like fixin’, ain’t, y’all, but when you move down here from wherever you’ve come from and don’t have a friend, we’ll invite you over for dinner and make sure your family is cared for and help you find a job and make you feel a part of a family.
As I drove down I-35 yesterday and saw every over pass and the southbound sides lined with people waving flags to show their respect for Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, I was brought to tears. The outpouring of love and honor for his family is so due, and I am so proud to live in a state that still recognizes a good man.
I am so thankful to live in a state where people stand for something! Thank You God that I get to live in this wonderful state - please Lord, draw us all nearer to You, let us be a city on a hill, a lamp for the entire world to see Your love and grace and wisdom and power!