Politics and patriotism aside, we cannot forget 9/11. Consider the following reasons why:
First, 9/11 is a vivid reminder to us all that there really is, despite prevailing cultural notions to the contrary, evil. Evil is real, and is a reality with which we must reckon. No matter where one stands politically with regard to George W. Bush, one thing he did that took a lot of courage was steadfastly hold to the view that there is evil in this world. Certainly he made this clear following 9/11. And he is spot on. The ancient sages, like King David of Israel, for instance, speak repeatedly of the “evil times” (Psalm 37:19). Like a billboard planted in the sands of time, 9/11 loudly proclaims to all who will pay attention that there are terrible forces of wickedness prevelent in our world today. This cannot be missed.
Another reason we cannot forget 9/11 is that it reminds us of the terrible fragility of life. Can you imagine the second of horror for the woman who in one of the towers just set her coffee cup down on her desk, reached for her computer’s mouse, and glanced upward toward the window just as a passenger jet came hurling through it at 500 miles an hour? One moment she’s thinking of portfolios and the next moment she’s gone. As the great wise ruler Solomon once wrote, “who can tell man what will be after him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 6:12)?
Yet one more reason–among many–that we cannot forget 9/11 is that is should rally us to shed abroad the love of Christ. Because it highlights the reality of evil, and because it reminds us of life’s fragility, we should be deeply motivated to tell of the redemptive story. The time is short, the needs are great, and there is a whole world of people going straight to Hell because they have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The punch of 9/11 ought to shock us into seeing this need, hurting for the people in the towers or the Pentagon or the Pennsylvania fields; hurting for the people in the terror training camps of Somalia and Afghanistan. Hurting for everyone. As Jesus says in John 9:4, “We must work the works of him who sent me.” Who is it that sent Jesus? The Father. And the Father really wants the story of the cross and the empty tomb told.
- Special Question: Where were you on September 11, 2001? In what way did that day change your life? And do the events of that day still shape your life even today?
I walked the kids to preschool that day. I was pushing allye & annie in the stroller, and Austin was walking alongside me. When we got there, several of the teachers were crying. Austin’s teacher looked at me and said, “You haven’t heard, have you? A plane has flown into the World Trade Center.” They cancelled school and we hurried home. I watched the tower crumble to the ground on the news when I got home. I called my sister crying…did I call Christa too? I think I did.
There’s something to be said about events that shock you to the very core of your being. When people see the fragility of life, that we are vulnerable, not as safe and powerful as we thought. It affirmed my faith in the One who sees, the One who knows, the One who cries when I cry, the One who longs for us to turn to Him, all powerful and able to help us see where our real home is.
I’ve trusted in this One, the Lord Jesus Christ, through all the traumas and tragedies of my childhood. And 9/11 was another chapter in that book of faith. Then 5 years later, my mama passed away on that day, and all I could think was that my crippled, ill mother was whole, just as all those Christians who suffered tragedy on that horrible day are whole with her. I will never forget September 11th.