RSS

Tag Archives: 9/12

September 12th

This picture is permenantly burned in my memories from 10 years ago.  I am not sure if the flag was raised on 9/12 or not, but this is the image I think about when I think about the day after the 11th.  I believe this is even more powerful to me now than it was then.  There is just something about the flag being raised over the wreckage by some of the men who were there when the buildings fell.  This was a message.  It said to those who planned the attacks, “We are still here.”

After NB went to bed last night, my wife and I watched a special about 9/11 on CBS.  It was called, 9/11 Ten Years Later.  It was amazing.  It really was.  It was pieced together from the footage from two brothers who were filming a documentary about a rookie firefighter along with the interviews in the time since.  It was almost unbelievable that there just happened to be these two guys filiming these guys at the very moment the first plane crashed…and they were only a couple of blocks away from the World Trade Center!

The firefighters were some of the first to the scene, and their chief was the first chief there and he allowed the filming brother with him to come into the building.  It was surreal to see this footage from inside Building One.  You are walked through the events from the perspective of the crew from this one firehouse.  Everything was filmed.  You feel like you are there when the buildings fell, because the camera was rolling.

It was a little hard to relive everything from that day, but I am so glad we watched until the end.  What stood out most to me was what happened following the buildings collapsing.

The firemen from the house were separated in the confusion running from Building One and it coming down.  The brother that was not at the WTC was at the firehouse.  He filmed everyone as they came back.  One by one they all returned, even the rookie who did not get back for six hours.  Everyone got back.  They were happy, but they took it hard as well.  They were one of the only firehouses that did not lose one person.  In a lot of ways, they felt guilty.  They were still here, while so many of their brother firefighters were not.

I was not ready for what came next.

After going home for a few hours, all of them came back to ground zero.  They felt like it was their duty to go and start digging and looking for people in the rubble.  They were still here, and they owed it to those who weren’t to go look for them.  Hundreds of firefighters, and others, came and dug.  They were on 24 hour shifts.  The first shift ended and they only found one person alive, but they came back again to look for more.

There was more to the show, but this is where I want to rest.  How beautiful is that thought in the middle of the tragedy.  They were still here, and they owed it to those that were not to risk their own lives to go looking.  In a lot of ways, the firefighters in the documentary should have died.  Most of them literally made it out of the building only minutes and seconds before it fell.  They survived though the odds said they shouldn’t have.  Instead of resting in that, though, they put themselves back into danger to look for others who were dying.

Isn’t this the story of how life should be?  Isn’t this how Christians should view life?

We were dying in our sins.  We were helpless from saving ourselves.  The world was crashing around us and we should have been caught up in the debris, but we weren’t.  Someone took our place.  Someone died in our place.  Jesus died the death we destined for.  The building fell on him, not us.  We were saved.  We are still here.  We are still here.

What is our response?  Do we rest in the fact that we are alive?  Or do we put this new life on the line to go search the wreckage of the world?  Do we risk our safety to dig and offer life to those who are helpless, just as we were?  Are we even trying?  Or are we taking our life for granted?  We are still here…but what are we doing about it?

I don’t know.  This really spoke to me.  I have lived most of my Christian life taking my “survival” for granted.  That is changing.  I am starting to see we need to leverage what we have for others.  To help them see that they can be saved from the wreckage.  To offer life.  It does not mean just sharing the gospel when the situation comes up, but it means loving other people.  It means serving other people.  It means giving up comfort and safety to try to make a difference in other people’s lives.  I am still here.  I want to spend my life making sure other people have the chance to say the same thing.

What about you?  What do you think?  Are you still here?  What are you doing about the others who aren’t?

Performancing Metrics

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 10th

Over the last week, there have been a lot of retrospectives on the ten years since 9/11.  I know for all of us, that date has forever changed.  It is now synonymous with the tragedy that happened.  Even ten years later, it is hard for me to think about what happened.  I watched a video timeline this morning, and I couldn’t help but cry at the end.  All of those people who died.  Their families.  The sadness.  The grief.  It is all still so real to me.  For me, though, 9/11 is not the only anniversary that I think about this time of year.

The events of 9/11 have given my heart a timeline that affects me now.  This year, God is starting to teach me through it.  There are three dates: 9/10, 9/11, and 9/12.  Each one has specific feelings for me.  And today being 9/10, I would like to reflect briefly on that day.

Looking back, 9/10 now represents innocence to me.  My life changed so much on the day after the 10th, there is now a “simpler time” nostagia about it.  I don’t remember the 10th.  I don’t know what that day was like.  However, in my mind, it looks a lot like the sunny morning of the 11th that we see when we see footage right before the first plane crash.

On 9/10, I was not as paranoid.  I was a little paranoid because that is my personality, but it was not a global paranoia.  I wasn’t worried about how our government handled security.  I was not apprehensive about people and other countries’ thoughts about America.  I was not waiting for the next “shoe to drop.”  It is a sunny day in my mind, with no clouds in sight.

I was not as willing to give up some of my freedom for security.  I was more trusting.  I was less into watching the news.  I feel like I think older generations are when they talk about the “good old days.”  The world just didn’t seem as grim.  The weight of the world is more on my shoulders now because I have an ingrained worry about what could happen.

I don’t know how to explain it better.  9/10 is just a time of deep reflection for me.  I felt safe that day.  Safe because I felt like our country was invincible.  Bad things happened elsewhere.  Not here.  Not in America.

This year, God is making me think about him in this time of reflection.  Where is my security?  What do I trust in?  What do I hope in?

I am not going to get into the whole why-would-God-let-this-happen thing.   But, God is in control.  No matter what happens, God is who we can trust in.  Bad things will happen.  Big things (like 9/11) or small things (losing my keys).  The key is, where is my hope and trust when these things happen?

The weight of the world is not ours to carry.  It isn’t.  God is the sustainer of the world.  My hope is only in Jesus.  Jesus died for my sins to make me right with God.  The proof is in the resurrection.  Jesus coming back from the dead is what tells me that his sacrafice was accepted and complete (see Action Hero Jesus).  I am right with God, no matter what happens.  This is what frees me up to not bear the weight of planet Earth.  What does this mean?  It means I am free to love.  I am free to serve others.  I am free to let go of my daily schedule to connect with others.  I am free to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world, especialy during a time of tragedy.

Though I might not be secure in this world, I am secure in the next.  I can rest in that.  I can have a 9/10 spiritual life.  And this 9/10 relationship to God allows me to love people through tragedies that happen every day in a 9/11 world.

I don’t know if this made sense or not.  Just trying to articulate how I have been feeling this week, especially today.  What do you think?  How do you feel when you think about 9/10?  Do you have a sense of spiritual security that lets you love and serve other people without the weight of the world on your shoulders?

Please think about becoming an email subscriber to stay updated.  It is free and easy!

Performancing Metrics

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,