It’s been 18 years since 9/11 rocked us to the core, tore down our sense of security in the world, and opened our eyes wide to the evil that seeks to destroy.
It was just a normal Tuesday morning. I was seventeen years old, sitting in a classroom with the TV on, wondering how an accident like this could happen. Then as the TV announcers screamed live on air when we watched the second plane hit, the realization was like a bucket of ice to the face – This was an intentional attack on our country, and our world was changing that day.
This morning I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing as I listened to several sound bites from people stuck in the towers and on doomed flights. They were making calls because they knew that there wasn’t much time left, that they’d never see their spouse or hold their kids again.
I kept hearing it again and again:
“I love you.”
The only thing that mattered was “I love you.”
Yes, evil exists. Yes, this was the biggest tragedy our country has experienced in recent memory. Yes, we live in a fallen world, and we ourselves make bad decisions on the daily, but is that a reason to give up hope? To give up on love?
The day after these horrific events, the people of the United States had a sharp focus on what was important – love. And from that – unity, hope, faith, the inherent dignity of each individual, patriotism, heroism.
One of our local printing companies printed American flags with the words “God Bless America” emblazoned across the front. They gave them out for free and ran out within hours and had print thousands more. Our country knew what was important that day.
Do we still? Or have we been desensitized? Has too much time passed? Has the shock been forgotten?
I encourage you today to look back. To remember. Not only the tragedy of the lives lost and all of the people who have been affected by this, but also the good stories of heroism and love.
Bring that love to the people around you today. Hold that baby just a little longer while he naps. Have a little more patience for the annoyances that come up. Go visit someone who may be lonely. Text someone you’ve been missing to let them know. Kiss the one that you love the most. Pray.
Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.