Remembering the Past With Bubble Lights and Founding Fathers

photo 2  Dear Reader:

When I received this “Bubble Light” for Christmas,  a week ago, I was thrilled….Christmas memories from the past came rushing back!

Growing up… my siblings and I always had three of these original “bubble lights” on our tree…one for each of us. (They first arrived on the scene in the fifties-remaining  popular until the seventies when miniature “fairy” lights removed them from the commercial scene.)

I remember at night mother would get my two brothers and I ready for bed by baiting us  “If you hurry and take your baths and get ready for bed…you can watch the “bubble lights” for fifteen minutes before going to bed. That’s all it took…

It worked beautifully. We each had our own”bubble light” that we ran to under the Christmas Tree…lying on our bathrobes we simply stared at the water “bubble” over and over in the clear, liquid-filled vial, as the red and green base reflected off the tree. (Of course each of us thought our “bubble light” was the best…with the fastest water bubbles…mine really was the fastest!)

Isn’t it strange how one simple ornament from Christmases past can bring back so many family memories, long forgotten?

As  an ‘ole history teacher’ that is how I always viewed history. I felt it was my job to tell stories so memorable….that a quote or artifact or picture would bring the time period and event rushing back to them like my old “water bubble” Christmas Tree ornament.

photo  My brother was reading this book over the holidays concerning the Founding Fathers’ shared sense of awareness that they were not alone in setting the principles of democracy and freedom in a country where the people were the government. God was leading them in this endeavor.

Not every elected representative shared the same name for God..but they all knew Something/Somebody, bigger than them, was with them.

Jefferson, who called himself a Deist, believed in a “Supreme Being” and Franklin and Washington referred to God as “Providence.” But no matter the title…the elected representatives to the Declaration of Independence and later Constitution believed that God was leading them.

And the other central core idea among both assemblies: The belief that everything that came to pass (winning the war against one of the greatest military powers at the time and then proclaiming a government for and by the people) was nothing short of a miracle. This was a widely accepted belief among the representatives.

Ben showed me three examples from the book (quotes from representative sharing their personal views in God’s role in creating this country we call home) which I will share with you.

Benjamin Franklin: “I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance (as the framing of the Constitution)…should be suffered to pass without being some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and having their being.”

George Washington: “The adoption of the Constitution will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.”

Benjamin Rush: (Physician and representative from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

“Doctor Rush then proceeded to consider the origin of the proposed Constitution, and fairly deduced it was from heaven, asserting that he as much believed the hand of God was employed in this work as that God had divided the Red Sea to give a passage to the children of Israel, or had fulminated the “Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai.”


We have talked many times in this blog about the everyday miracles taking place around us constantly. But to be aware of these miracles we have to stop and leave the framework of our busyness, our ordinary lives to see all the extraordinary things happening right under our noses.

There are certain times, in our lives, benchmark moments, however, that are so miraculous that the “one from many”  and “many from one” sense individually and collectively that they have witnessed a miracle from their Creator. The Declaration and Constitution are examples of this that we can appreciate today as much as they did over two hundred years ago.

So until tomorrow…Let us keep our eyes open to past, present, and future possibilities of miracles as individuals and as collective bodies of possibilitarians seeking miracles in our midst. They are there.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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