A remembrance, a recommendation, and a hope

I don’t have much to say today. It feels irreverent to write on this day without at least acknowledging the date and all that it means. But, honestly, I don’t have much to say about  9-11.

Partly, I feel like it gets pulled out and paraded around for so much political posturing and war-mongering, that I bristle a bit when it’s mentioned. There’s a lot of exploitation of tragedy and emotional manipulation.

But mostly, it still just feels like hollowed ground.

It was my introduction into the world of global affairs. It is the lens through which I first began to form opinions about Big Issues – about my country, its government, and about war. It was my induction into the world beyond the immediacy of my experiences.

But I don’t have many opinions about it. I don’t see that my words would do much good here. I understand “the moment of silence”. It seems like the most appropriate thing we do in remembrance of death and senseless evil.

I will say this: that when the president got on tv that night and said, “we must take revenge on the people who have done this…” my ten year old mind thought, “isn’t revenge something that ‘belongs to the Lord’? Isn’t that his job? How is that going to make things better?” I think that was followed by, “Yeah, get ’em. Nobody pushes us around. ‘Merica.”

What can I say? I was ten. I didn’t know what I believed. But that has always stuck out to me as one of my only clear thoughts from a day saturated with emotion and unreliable memories.

But anyway, if you’re gonna read something about September 11th, I recommend this post over at A Deeper Story. I think it’s great. Here’s a preview:

“Boundaries help keep the good in and the bad out,” write Cloud and Townsend on page 31 of Boundaries. On the screen, planes crash. The buildings dissolve and then reassemble themselves so we can feel the impact of the crash again and again.

“Boundaries help us distinguish our property so that we can take care of it,” the book continues. And it occurs to me that evil doesn’t give one shit about your pretty little brick walls, your property. Sometimes evil just crashes into you, and your patch of perfectly-maintained interior landscape is scorched in the resulting brushfire of grief….

In becoming my own heart’s gatekeeper, choosing what is “good” and what is “bad,” what to let in and what to keep out, I think I might have missed the point.

It is, after all, the hard things that make us softer. More full of grace. More like our Jesus.

I hope you guys have a good day. I hope it involves family and people that you love. I hope you take a moment to be silent, a moment to remember and to align yourself with those who grieve.

And maybe just as importantly, take a moment to hold someone, to make them laugh, to notice something beautiful, to remember that somehow this world is full of so much bad and so much wonderful all at the same time.


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