As I was putting our nine-year-old son to bed, I bent down to kiss him goodnight. He reached up, pulled my face toward his, and gave me seven kisses—four down and three across—on my forehead. Then he looked me in the eye and said, "Mom, you are blessed."
"Did you realize you kissed me in the shape of a cross?" I asked him.
Though I grew up during the civil unrest and cultural change that marked the '60s and '70s, my middle-American, middle-class, mainstream-Christian upbringing still led me to assume that patriotism and Christian discipleship were highly compatible, mutually reinforcing commitments.