Home Commentary Lord, Hear Our July 4th Prayer

Lord, Hear Our July 4th Prayer

Actual photo of folks who are coming to July 4 and Red, White, and Blues.

Here’s the real America deal, y’all. It’s a verbal Venn diagram of sorts, whereby I’m gonna intersect a list of shelf-unstable ingredients for a July 4 recipe of sparkling proportions.


Ingredient #1: folks. Kinfolks. Neighbor folks. American folks y’all ain’t never before seen the likes of.

Tomorrow, all them folks are gonna go to the beach. Together. Lots of ‘em. Some of ‘em only have one day off and they decided to spend it on that little stretch of paradise known as Santa Rosa Island. More specifically, 110,364 of them will choose the football field rectangle in between Crab’s We Got ‘Em and Yancy’s surf statue and on down to the water line. 

I will not be there, because I would spend the following three days in the fetal position, but for the rest of y’all, listen up… 

They’re gonna bring Memaw and the cousins, and the sister-in-law they’ve never liked. In the same car. And they’re gonna be mad about it. We don’t know who they’re mad at, themselves maybe for the string of life decisions that brought them to this point, but at some point tomorrow, somebody’s gonna wish they’d made different choices. 

All morning in standstill traffic, cheap beer, a heat advisory warning, and one too many of your future ex’s opinions is a recipe for a fireworks display that doesn’t need a barge for launching. 

And because they will not have spent as much time as I have in therapy, they will not have the means to cope with such shenanigans. 

Ingredient #2: traffic. Not much to say about this one, other than where you got folks goin’ places, you’ve got traffic. Accept it now. 

Ingredient #3: heat. More specifically Deathcon 3000.

While you are preparing your heart to deal with all that aforementioned truth, prepare yourself also for this: the weather forecast. I already did you a solid and looked it up. Spoiler alert: it’s gonna be hotter ‘n Hades. The actual temperature is irrelevant. For some reason, all that mishmash of people makes it hotter though. 

Bring water, then bring extra. Then bring some more. In an ice chest…of water.

Ingredient #4: choices. This is the ingredient that acts like baking soda to stabilize the recipe or end up with a mess. This includes drankin’, cussin’, fightin’, and all forms of wildin’ in general. Sit yourself down right now and say, “Self, do you want to go to jail or end up on the Internet? Because your choices are what send you there.” Write it on your hand and tuck it into the recesses of your mind, so that when tomorrow comes, you won’t respond to the lady who puts her umbrella in your line of vision. 

On the eve of this American holiday, let us prepare thy hearts to back up like Terry. 

Prepare thouest heart, Lord, for the upcoming beach week. Maketh thou ignore the others. Helpeth not be surprised when the bumper comest thou closer to the other bumper. Givest thou grace and mercy and patience and fortitude and solemnity and divine intervention and silent mouth syndrome and air conditioning when dealing with thy neighbor. But iffith thou should see our distress and feeleth compelled to enact justice on our behalf, may I recommend the ole nether regions sand rash trick, causeth-ing them to gather Memaw, and cousins, and sister-in-law, in order to departeth from this land, withouteth needing the intervention of thou Escambia County Ordereth of the Sherrifs. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 


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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.