Summary: In wake of the September 11, 2001 attack in New York and Washington, D. C., this may serve to help convey some shared feelings in the Church and in America.
On Tuesday Morning, September 11, 2001, the United States of America, this blessed land, was recipient of the worst terrorist attack in the world’s history, forever altering our way of thinking and our way of life. America will never, and should not ever, be the same. America has now been tragically and dramatically quickened to the reality of the cautious lifestyle that exists in nations such as Israel, who must take extreme measures to ensure the safety and security of their people.
What many, and perhaps, most Americans thought would never happen, now has. The impossible has now become reality. We were targeted, we were hit, and we have been hurt deeply. This grave infiltration of our security and safety has left a forever impression on the heart and soul of every citizen.
This diabolical attack on our country has left a bigger void than the one in the New York skyline. There are voids in businesses, in homes, in families, in marriages, and in countless lives. Marriage partners are now widows and widowers. Parental pride has turned into parental pain. Good friends have become grieving friends.
And this nation, though it is still a superpower by all means, has now also become a support group for those in sorrow and pain, which is shared by all American citizens. Future plans have become funeral plans. Hope has become hurt, peace has become pain, and confidence has become confusion. And there is a void in our hearts - of understanding, of comprehension, and for many loved ones, whose lives were swept away in an extreme and unthinkable act of terrorist violence. America has been wounded.
Countless questions abound. The pain gives rise to perplexity, as we experience various emotional reactions to this horrific scene, which seems like a dream, but has, each and every moment, proved to be all too real.
This is no dream - this is a nightmare. A nightmare of reality from which some, without God’s help, will never awake. They are prospective prisoners to perpetual grief, pain, bitterness, hurt, and anger. And for them we must pray - earnestly and intently - we must pray.
We must pray for the families of the victims, for their loss, and the horror they are continually experiencing. We must pray for the rescue and recovery workers, who have tirelessly worked to recover any and all persons, regardless of the condition in which they are found.
We must pray for the eyewitnesses, whose minds will replay over and over for them the images of terror they saw firsthand. We must pray for the families of those who perpetrated these crimes, knowing that pain is not prejudiced, and that it’s possible that their hearts are hurting too.
We must pray for our national leaders, from the President, to the investigators who are working to find those responsible. Pray for God’s wisdom to be theirs, as they seek to bring the culprits to justice. We must pray for our nation - that the unity which this tragedy has brought, would remain and would increase, and that all of those who now have their eyes turned God-ward, would stay focused upon Him, realizing Him to be the one and only hope to guide us through, both this time of crisis, and the times of calm.
No person can navigate their way through these stormy seas without the help of our Sovereign God. Let’s pray, that those who are now reaching out in desperation will become disciplined and determined to make the practice of prayer and reaching out to God a daily decision in their lives.
And we must pray for one another. May this past week’s events serve as a wake-up call to the Body of Christ, concerning that which is really important, issues that really matter. May we learn these lessons well, so we don’t have to be taught again, for the cost of this course is way too expensive. May we learn the folly of denominational divisiveness, and the importance of Christian collectivity and unity, which is God’s initial purpose and design.
And may we learn to live a life of love and forgiveness. Let us realize the utter futility of feuding and fighting, of grudges and gossip, and of preferences and prejudices. May we not be outdone by the people of this great nation, who have dropped racist, religious, and all other prejudices, for the common good of uniting in solidarity, in order to better survive this difficult time in our nation.
May we also remember, that the deceased - whether victims or the perpetrators of these horrible acts - have now reached their eternal destinies. May this serve as a sober reminder for all of us of the severity and serious nature of that one decision to serve Jesus Christ, and to do so wholeheartedly, and may it ignite a compassionate fire in each of us for world evangelization, in hopes of preparing as many as possible to escape an eternity in hell, and to enter into an eternity in heaven.