September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001.

A day that none of us will ever forget.  A day that all of us wish we could.

I remember snapping awake on that Tuesday morning as my mom came rushing into my room.  I walked out into the living room as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and then paused as at that same moment the first of the Twin Towers began to collapse.  I was still in too much of a fog to realize what I was seeing; what was going on?!  The fog quickly faded as more details came in across the screen.  My mom and I stood in front of the TV watching as millions of pounds of metal and concrete come crashing down.

Like countless numbers of other people, we stayed close to the TV and the radio as reports continued to come in from the east coast.  My biggest regret from that day is not realizing how much it was affecting my mom.  With my dad being at work and with me in my senior year as a home-school student, I had no clue how scared and upset my mom had become from what was happening that day.  I finally realized what was going on and have the memory burned in my mind of hugging my mom as she cried.  That’s not something you easily forget.

I remember talking to my grandpa later that day and hearing his reaction.  He told me about how over 50 years earlier, he had stood outside a drug store in east Pennsylvania listening to the first radio reports of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.  It was terror, an absolute terror, he said.  Sunday, December 7th, 1941, was a day he would never forget.  I realized that our own date had just been set.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine years already.  The terrorist attacks were inexcusable, yes, but not unforgivable.  I have no rhetoric or capability of communicating how forgiveness is even plausible in this situation, especially for those who lost innocent family members and friends that day.

What I do know though is that there is hope and healing in Jesus Christ.  Yes, we weep with those who weep but as believers, we don’t mourn as those who have no hope.  The terrorists responsible for these attacks were men who struggled with sin, just like the rest of us, and acted in horrific ways.  Excusable, no, forgivable, yes.

May God give us grace to forgive but not forget what was lost that day.  Pray for the families who lost loved ones, whether innocent or a terrorist.  Pray for God to be speaking grace and forgiveness into the hearts and lives of their family members as we remember September 11th.

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