Unable to get up, she softly repeated the same words over and over. She cried “The towers have fallen, no…no…how can this be? It all just collapsed…it’s all gone.”, as soft teardrops began to run down her face. It was in that moment when I knew nothing would ever be the same again
How well I remember this 9/11 day 17 years ago, when both towers of the World Trade Center were brought down. I remember the amazing and perfectly cornflower-blue sky that started the day, and how it would seem at such odds with the events that would shortly follow.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14 (KJV)
I was working for a large pharma company in New Jersey when the news came over the television and Internet that first one and then a second plane had hit both of the towers. To say that there was ‘shock and disbelief’ is an understatement that cannot be fully understood unless you were there. Much like the people in 1941 who struggled to wrap their heads around the attack on Pearl Harbor as it unfolded.
Complete and total bewilderment, and it only got worse.
As people started to leave the massive office complex, there is one scene that is forever etched in my mind. I was walking down a hallway to the elevator, hit the button and the door opened. Slumped up against the back wall of the elevator, sitting disheveled on the floor, was an upper-level manager looking down at the ground.
Unable to get up, she softly repeated the same words over and over. She cried “The towers have fallen, no..no…how can this be? It all just collapsed…it’s all gone.”, as soft teardrops began to run down her face. It was in that moment when I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
In the days and weeks that followed, as both the literal and metaphorical smoke began to clear, people began to express a certain level of outrage against the ‘enemy’ who had done this. Depending on who you spoke with, that enemy was the Muslims and Islam, the New World Order, George Bush, with some even saying Israel was behind it all.
For a time, I wallowed in that same grief and anger, looking for someone to blame and exploring all the ideas and theories that could have caused it. Whenever someone posted a convincing theory how 9/11 happened, I read the articles, watched the videos, looking for answers. But nothing truly explained anything, nothing truly satisfied.
Then the Lord showed it to me from His perspective
Nearly 3,000 people left for work that 9/11 day for their offices in the Twin Towers, and they never came back. They stepped out of thier homes and into eternity. I knew many people that lost loved ones, 9/11 widows were everywhere you looked in New Jersey. But the people who died in the towers that day were part of the larger group of roughly 250,000 people that die each and every day across the world.
Life is short, tomorrow is not guaranteed but neither is the rest of today. That’s a sobering thought to say the least.
Every single day is precious gift from God, how will you spend it?
Do you want to hate the Muslims and Islam? Guess what, Jesus shed His blood on the cross for them too. Do you want to hate our government, or George Bush, or Dick Cheney, or the shadowy figures of the dark web who plan and plot against us? How about venting your rage on Israel, the Rothschild family and “those Jews”? You can, but to what end? We live in a sin cursed world that is not getting better anytime soon. If you are going to cultivate hatred you will soon find it to be a full time job. Worst of all, it won’t accomplish anything.
So let me suggest something else instead on this anniversary of 9/11, seventeen years after the fact
- Call your mom, your dad, brother or sister, a friend you’ve lost touch with, and tell them you love them.
- Forgive somebody who has hurt you and needs you to forgive them, and watch two people get healed.
- Show a kindness to someone who can’t pay you back.
- Let go of hate and bitterness.
- Let love rule in your heart.
- Feed someone who’s hungry instead of just walking past trying not to see them.
- Remember God, because you’re going to meet Him one day. And it just might be today.
There will always be wars and rumours of wars, there will alway be ‘enemies of the state’ and corrupt governments. Why? Because we are all sinners who need a Saviour, but God has provided that Saviour in Himself.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)
God came to save a world of His own creation that had grown to hate Him, but He came anyway. He took upon Himself our sin, even while we asked not for it, even while we spit on Him and mocked Him. God laid down His life and offered us grace and mercy even though we deserved justice.
You think the Jews killed Jesus? Look deeper. You think the Romans killed Jesus? Look deeper still. It was you and I who put Him on the cross.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8 (KJV)
God died to save every race, every color, male and female, young and old, gay and straight, rich and poor. On the cross He cried, “Father, forgive them”. What is the cry of your heart today? Is it lusting for revenge, or asking the Father for mercy? How much grace should you extend to someone else? About the same amount as you think you might need one day.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21,22 (KJV)
Go out and do something bold and radical this September 11th, go show someone mercy who doesn’t deserve it. Go out and love someone who’s not so lovable. Take yourself off the throne and let the God of Abraham rule and reign in your hearts today. Become a one-person revival.
Forgive them all.
“And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7 (KJV)