I still cannot watch videos or look at pictures of that horrible day on the eleventh of September, 2001, without churning emotion. Many chose not to look, say it’s too depressing. But I believe, no matter how painful, we need to remember.
Remember how real evil is.
When we see and feel the evil on 9/11 we know that evil is not just a matter of someone getting up on the wrong side of the bed, or having suffered a bad childhood. Evil is real, and active, deceiving many into believing they are securing eternal happiness by killing as many others as possible.
Sadly, evil is not the solely the province of terrorists.
In the last fifteen years I’ve seen a huge shift in our collective awareness of evil, of right and wrong. From video games, TV shows, movies and social media it seems that many in our culture have a growing fascination with darkness, violence and death. Some seek it as power, others as escape.
It is neither.
Evil is ultimately only about destruction. Others first, then our own.
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for — will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:6-10 MSG
We also need to remember the good. The first responders who rushed in and gave their lives. The private citizens who ferried thousands who were trapped off Manhattan Island that day. The passengers and crew on Flight 93 who sacrificed their lives to protect the Washington target. Volunteers who arrived in NYC and the Pentagon, day after day to help in any way they could, and people across the country who donated food and supplies.
Whenever evil strikes, it lights a fire it cannot snuff out, a fire of courage and determination, of light and love.
In the end, we are faced with daily choices, light or darkness, though very rarely so clearly defined.
Will we pause and reflect, then go on with life as usual?
Or will we decide to make a difference, be the bearers of light? Truth? Love?
Can we do our part?
Only if we remember the stakes.
What do you recall from that day? Has it changed your life?
I’m not very familiar with country music, but this song expresses it.