The Only Way Forward from 9/11

fireman-100722_640Know this.
What defines us as people –
as nations
is not the tragedies that befall us
but our response
to those tragedies.
That day remains with us
like a missing limb,
like a hip that predicts the rain,
like a permanent limp;
not because it happened  –
not because an enemy penetrated our border,
breached our defense,
caught us in a dark alley, unguarded and alone
no, this has happened to other people,
other nations,
and they moved on.
We remain tethered to this day,
frozen in time,
ever standing at the memorial site
wringing the flag in our
tear-soaked hands,
stunned into a silence that has extended beyond its moment
because on the day we were wounded
we turned to idols to provide our healing –
we called out to the false gods of
defiance,
revenge,
anger,
hatred,
politics,
profiling,
good works,
national pride,
therapy,
and celebrity marathons.
Empty promises
devoid of power
proven ineffective by our struggle to move on,
our unified embrace of patriotic paralysis.
As well as a day of remembrance,
this should be a day of prayer
when those who profess to know Jesus Christ,
fall to their knees and confess the sins of a nation.
We may not know if it was our sin or another’s
that invited our destruction,
but we can know for certain that it is our sin,
the refusal to acknowledge our dependence and our debt to
the Almighty God,
the determination to rely on ourselves for protection and prosperity,
the defiance that embraces pride, vengeance, and material gain as a means of recovery,
that delays our healing.
We are not the first to face
an enemy or to struggle to come back
from harm.
We would be wise to take instruction
from those who sought the One True God in their
day of destruction,
rather than from those who
bow down and pray
to the muscle in their own right arm,
to their own clever thinking,
to the weapons they’ve stockpiled for such a day.
” Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
Psalm 37:1-9
Never forget  –
it was once self-evident
that we were endowed
by our Creator –
it remains self-evident to Him,
and it is to Him
we must turn to offer repentance
and to receive healing, restoration, and strength.
This is the only way
Forward.

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2 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it, especially today.

  2. Beautiful words. I always enjoy reading your posts.