I’m sure that today, as I surf the internet and facebook, that the blogosphere (and hopefully a few news outlets) will be riddled with posts on patriotism, honor, and remembering the sacrifice of the fallen, as well it should be.
People are already asking “Where were you on 9/11?”. Somehow knowing each others story brings us closer.
Me? I had overslept and was running late to my 8am college English class. Assuming it was already in progress, I snuck in the back of the room, only to find everyone else huddled around the television in the front. I set my bag down and then walked up to the screen as the second plane hit. Then I called my mom.
Life changed that day and it’s amazing to me that my children will never know the pre-9/11 America.
Yes, I’ve become more patriotic, more in awe of heroism, and if we’re laying all the cards on the table here, I find myself crying more often than not when I hear the national anthem.
However, when it comes to talking with my children about 9/11, it’s not really patriotism or an emotional connection to our Country and our servicemen than I’m encouraging in them.
I’m teaching them the difference between Life and Death. Good and Evil. I’m instilling in them on this day, in particular, the knowledge that if God be for us, who can be against us?
If I have already died with Christ and my life is no longer my own, then why would I fear those who want to harm my physical body when my spirit is already Free?
For me, to live is Christ, to make him known and to overcome darkness. To die is my gain. We win either way.
Therefore, no matter what trial comes, my eyes are fixed not on the the Death that the Enemy seeks to bring, but on the Life that is only found in the sacrificial love of Jesus. Why would I ever fear those whose end goal is Death and Destruction?
Right now in the Middle East, Iraqi Christians are being crucified, beheaded and buried alive.
It is estimated that a Christian is martyred every 5 minutes.
Between A.D. 30 and the year 2000, there have been 70 million Christian martyrs (and that reflects those that were killed for their faith, not just casualties of war). However, it becomes even more staggering to note that 45 million of those occurred in the 20th Century. There have been more Christian martyrs in the last century than in all of history combined up to this point. (source)
As an American, on this day, I’m reminded that the Enemy wants nothing more than to take away Life and Freedom. However, today is not just a day of memorial and rremembrance in other countries. Death is present and real and tangible.
So on 9/11, and in all the days to follow, my message to my children is not just one of patriotism and honor and being a good American.
I want them to know that if God is for us, who can stand against us?
The following is a poem by E.H. Hamilton. Its probably one of my favorites.
He wrote it to honor his friend, J.W. Vinson, a missionary to China who was martyred by rebel soldiers. When the soldiers asked Vinson if he was afraid, he said, “No, because if you shoot, I go straight to heaven.”
Afraid? Of what? To feel the spirit’s glad release? To pass from pain to perfect peace, The strife and strain of life to cease? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? Afraid to see the Saviour’s face, To hear His welcome, and to trace, The glory gleam from wounds of grace, Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? A flash – a crash – a pierced heart; Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art! A wound of His a counterpart! Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To enter into Heaven’s rest, And yet to serve the Master blessed? From service good to service best? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To do by death what life could not – Baptize with blood a stony plot, Till souls shall blossom from the spot? Afraid? Of that?
originally posted on 9-11-14