The earth revolved on its axis for 365 days to return to this day of infamy.
September 11, 2014
Some would say that this day changed everything. For the families who suffered the tragic loss of their loved ones, there is no doubt. Thirteen years ago, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and friends and lovers, were torn from our embrace forever.
For millions of us, who watched the towers attacked, saw them explode and burn, and then witnessed their twelve second collapse, we shuddered in horrified silence. How could we speak? How could we move? How could we feel? Our hearts were shattered. We wanted to do something that would demonstrate our commitment and solidarity with those who were irreparably harmed. And we did. The rallying cry burst from our souls, “Never Forget.”
Thirteen years later, the cry of our hearts remain…never forget.
But I wonder.
Did this 13th anniversary sneak up on us this year? Did the earth revolve so quickly that September 11th arrived without much notice or attention?
For our family who now resides in the southern hemisphere, the 11th of September is not revered like in our home country. In fact, the big news in our world is the Oscar Pistorius trial. National attention and in fact, global attention, rests upon this man’s fate. One single man.
Thirteen years ago, though, global attention centered upon one nation under attack and the loss of thousands of lives. It wasn’t just Americans who perished that day. Over twelve percent of those who died, or 373 people of the 2,977 victims, were foreign nationals. More than 90 countries, from Argentina to Venezuela, lost citizens that day. The terrorist acts of 9/11 struck our global heart at the World Trade Center.
Global threats remain….terrorism, disease, natural disasters, political instability, famine, drought, food crises, economic failure, social upheaval, and more. The question I ponder is do we still stand in solidarity with one another thirteen years after 9/11? From Argentina to Venezuela, do we still care for what happens to our fellow man – wherever they are in the world?
I cannot speak for anyone but myself. But I still care. Thirteen years after 9/11, my heart has enlarged to embrace and love not only those that suffered inconceivable losses on 9/11, but the people of all nations’ cares and concerns that would come year after year after year. For 9/11 did not signal the end of suffering.
For some, 9/11 may have numbed our minds and turned out hearts cold to the concerns of the world.
But not me.
I care for the people of Syria.
I care for the people of Iraq.
I care for the people of Afghanistan.
I care for the people of Sierra Leone.
I care for the people of the Democratic of Congo.
I care for the people of New York City, New York.
I care for the people of Ferguson, Missouri.
I care for the people of Marikana, South Africa.
I care for the people of Gweru, Zimbabwe.
Such care and unity of spirit has grown from one secure source and in one sustainable way. I cannot take credit for this compassion and love I feel for my fellow man – no matter where they reside on this revolving earth.
In the words of Paul:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. 1 Timothy 2: 1-5 NIV
Thirteen years since 9/11, do we feel any less vulnerable?
Thirteen years since 9/11, do we feel any more secure?
Thirteen years since 9/11, do we feel any more together?
My Savior, Jesus Christ, came to this earth over two thousands years ago, to bring us all together once and for all. Yet, have we, as a nation and as a world, looked to Jesus Christ to mediate between us, secure our peace, strengthen our faith, and solidify our unity?
I think not.
Political instability corrupts.
Social order disintegrates.
Yet, where sin abounds, I pray that the love and grace of Jesus Christ may abound even more. Jesus Christ has triumphed over the power of sin and death.
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin…. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15: 57-58 NIV
So, yes, another year has come to pass. Thirteen years have come and gone since 9/11. It is my resolve and purpose to keep loving, keep encouraging, and keep laboring in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the sake of us all.
My hope rests upon Jesus Christ.
The evil intent of man sought to move us to a place of fear and vulnerability thirteen years ago. Instead, we rose and stood firm.
May we continue to give ourselves fully to our God. May our hope, love, and grace in Christ continue to bring us together and strengthen our stand.
Photo from The American Cowboy Chronicles