Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering September 11

"Remember and turn to the Lord"
Psalm 22:27

Well, another year has passed.  It's been more than ten years since that Tuesday morning.  My one and four-year-olds are now 11 and 14.  Life has moved on, and yet, we find ourselves thinking of who and where we were ten years ago.

Remembering is sometimes unpleasant.  Regardless, many Americans willingly sat down to watch a TV special remembering September 11.  Some even attended a service, in their local church or park, or in New York, Pennsylvania or at the Pentagon.  Sometimes after we've gone through something difficult, we are glad for events that take our mind off of the pain, but on the anniversary of 9/11, we choose to acknowledge the painful events of that day.

And ten years later, those same feelings remain.  We feel sadness for those who died, and for their families; for the loss of our "innocence," which simply means we never imaged something like that could happen to us.  And now we know it can.

The Pentagon Memorial ~ Washington, DC
We feel anger for senseless death; for buildings destroyed and damaged; anger at the people who feel it is their right not only to judge others, but to take God's law into their hands, to choose and inflict the penalty for what they deem to be crimes.  But it's more than anger we feel.  We feel indignant.  How could they?  How dare they??

Flight 93 memorial ~ Shanksville, Pennsylvania
But that anger, that indignant feeling, gives rise almost immediately to resolve.  To determination.  For some, it's determination to act - to join the military, or become a firefighter.  But for many, many others, it's a determination to live differently.  To live more fully, and appreciate more deeply.

Rebuilding at Ground Zero, New York City
And we feel overwhelming awe and gratitude toward people who showed courage in the face of death - in the face of terror.  First responders and "regular" people, on the planes and in the buildings.  People calling upon strength maybe they didn't even know they had.  And maybe those feelings are why we choose to remember.  An appreciation for who those people were, and an acknowledgement of what they did.

But while I'm remembering, aching and in awe, all at the same time, I'm thinking of Him.  I'm remembering His sacrifice on the cross.  The pain and the courage of Him not only dying on the cross, but enduring the pain and mocking that went before it.  And I want to feel the same anger on His behalf ~ not anger at those who shouted, "Crucify Him!" but anger at myself, because my sin is the reason He had to.

And I want that indignant feeling to bring out in me a resolve to live a life worthy of being saved.  My acknowledgement of His death on the cross for me, my belief in Him are the key to my salvation.  But I want that determination to live my life for Him, in appreciation for the eternal life with Him He has promised me.

And I want to remember frequently, with overwhelming gratitude and awe, His facing death, that I might have that life in Him.

~ "All the ends of the earth will remember
 and turn to the Lord, 
and all the families of the nations
 will bow down before Him" ~
Psalm 22:27

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