Today marks 15 years since the attack on America by terrorists at the World Trade Center, in the field in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. We talk about everyone remembering where we were when we first learned of the news and how we reacted.
Fifteen years ago on September 11th I had morning carpool. I had dropped off our 6 year old and 8 year old along with some friends of theirs at the Christian school they were attending. It was the last year before we began homeschooling the boys. I don’t even know what I was listening to but it must have been a book on tape or a tape of music as I didn’t hear any reports on the radio. I stopped at the gas station just up the road from our farm to fill up for the week and the attendant there asked if I’d heard the Pentagon had been attacked. I was confused and said no, I’d been taking the kids to school. I often shielded the kids from the news. Honestly, they were too young to really have to deal with what was on the evening news. And yes, I know what was on the evening news 15 years ago was very mild compared to today’s evening news. Anyway, I came home, flipped on the news and sat there for several hours trying to comprehend what had happened. I could not wrap my head around it. Why had someone attacked a center of commerce, a military center and what did Pennsylvania have to do with the master plan? At the end of the day, I went to pick up the kids from their carpool ride home and made sure to keep the TV off that night. I needed to be able to figure out what I was going to say to them before sharing that our country was under attack. I was torn between wanting to go to pray with other Christians and trying to keep my kids’ lives “normal”. Eventually, God gave me the words to explain that there are people in the world that didn’t like us simply because we’re Americans. Just as in the Bible, there were people who hated others simply because they loved God. But I also explained that what the terrorists had meant for evil, our country needed to turn around for good.
Thankfully, our President at the time, was a patriot first and foremost. He guided our country to support one another, rally around one another and pray for one another. He encouraged us to express the Agape Love that Pastor Jeff talked about today in his sermon. A love of commitment. A never ending love. I long for a return to that as a country. We are living in a time of very little love and a lot of division. We have become a country quick to criticize one another, quick to point the finger of blame at someone else, slow to accept responsibility for our own actions. We are quick to protest, slow to respect, slow to offer an opportunity to a better life and quick to judge. We expect celebrities and athletes to be moral examples to our children, instead of being the everyday example to them. We make heroes out of criminals and blast people who take a stand for the unborn as judgmental. We’re a tick off target and are unsure of how to get back on target.
Our lives have changed so much since 9/11/01. Our sons have become men. One has become a father. They didn’t get to grow up with the innocence I had hoped. They have seen a friend go off to war and come back a completely different person. Mike and I have become grandparents who wonder what the world will be like when Avery goes to school. Yes, we know how quickly the world changes. In 5 or 6 years, it will likely be a much different place than it is today and completely different from that September day in 2001. Christ has been doing a work in my life over the course of the last year. He has shown me so much grace that I can barely comprehend it. So when He has been so gracious to me, what should I do in return? Show grace to others. Be compassionate. Criticize less. Accept responsibility for my thoughts and actions instead of blaming others. Show respect. Show love. Help others who haven’t been blessed as you have. Be the person you want your children to become. Love first. Love always.