As a student of history, I love to know all the details - why someone achieved this, how this event happened, what influences and contributing factors came together to create an unforgettable moment in time. During a trip to Philadelphia in summer of 2009, I was able to discover an amazing account of history in the pages of a small and fragile book from 1831.

I first saw this special book in the Philadelphia Free Library, behind a high-security system designed to basically protect the book from anyone who wanted to see it. Graciously allowed to spend a few moments reading portions, I was amazed at the content revealed in this small preview. It was called "Life of Washington" by Anna C. Reed, and it proudly shared the life of our first president George Washington, but unlike the modern biographies of today, this book revealed a man of faith who lived it daily and applied it in his personal and public life.

I never knew Washington at the age of 15 had applied to join the British navy, and despite being accepted, chose a different path in order to not worry his anxious mother and to obey the biblical command to honor thy mother and father. Imagine if he had followed his own dream, and in doing so, how the history of our nation would be so different now.

I never knew he often traveled to a public spring where others gathered to take the waters in hope of improving their health, and while there, he would arrange to anonymously pay for bread for those who were sick and unable to buy it. He honored the Creator daily with earnest study and a faith seen by all who were around him, but also in small unseen actions like feeding those in need.

I thought of Washington while I toured Independence Park in Philadelphia during that trip. Faith was everywhere - but sadly, you won't discover it in many of the park service tours. But if you visit Christ Church, you will discover the importance of a faith foundation in the creation of our nation. There along the foundation's edge, you will discover the resting places of men like Washington who helped to forge principles of freedom and independence that still embody America today.

And in the church I found Washington's pew, and even Betsy Ross' pew (Washington had a better view; Betsy had to sit crowded by a huge pillar). These pews are still there and still in use today by the congregation. Faith still in action in a country forged by it.

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Comment by TrustJesus on June 21, 2013 at 7:26pm


Comment by TrustJesus on June 21, 2013 at 7:24pm

I've heard Thomas Paine possibly being anti-christian.  An atheist government teacher had us read John Locke's Treatise on Civil Goverment.  Ironic from what I have heard about him later after government school; the assertion about whether or not this is or was a Christian Nation seems to be an irrational, absurd question, when considering who the Ultimate governing authority is and that 2.) the fear of the Lord is...  Probv. 9:10...  3.  Natural laws (require) requre a lawgiver -- Mankind requires God...  (information science)

Comment by Dan Beliveau on April 20, 2010 at 8:12pm
Wonderful story, thank you, Laura
Comment by Janice Lynette Driggers on March 25, 2010 at 6:40am
Excellent writing Laura, I was inspired. I have been in a conversation with an atheist who is a public school teacher (on Eric Hovinds' facebook) and she shared an awful quote of Thomas Paine who she claims said awful things about the Bible. So, this was encouraging to me. I love history too. :)
Comment by Charles Martin Jr on February 25, 2010 at 9:01pm
Thanks for sharing that, Laura!

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