Summary: Living with the aftermath of terrorist attack - life is terror-filled, no use in denying it so how shall we live with it and gain security once again.

How to Live with Terror

Daniel 3:1-30 Sept. 23, 2001

Americans are much more worried today about becoming a victim of terrorism than they were after the Oklahoma City bombing six years ago. The current poll shows 60% of Americans saying they are either "very" or "somewhat" worried that they or someone in their family will become a victim, compared with 42% who expressed that view in April 1995, shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing. Last year, at the fifth anniversary of that bombing, only 24% said they were worried.

One reason for the increased worry may be that a majority of Americans, 55%, see Tuesday’s attacks as the beginning of a sustained terrorist campaign

"that will continue for several weeks." The rest of Americans either disagree with that view (29%), or say they are unsure (16%).

This worry apparently influences how Americans might behave in the future. Half of the public (49%) predicts that, as a consequence of the terrorist

attacks, Americans will permanently change the way they live, while 45% disagree. On a personal level, 36% of Americans admit that they will change some aspect of their personal lives or activities to avoid being a victim of terrorism, but 61% say they will not make any changes. Nevertheless, when asked about their fear of flying, 48% of Americans admitted that the

terrorist attacks make them less willing to fly on airplanes.

Folks are still reeling from the shock of the attack on America. O Lord, have mercy and teach us to live through this terror.

I believe today we need to reflect and process what went on in America, with the Terrorist Attack of Sept.11. What has happened is not unusual, all over the world there are terrorist attacks, in some form or another. It may not happen dramatically with planes crashing into office towers, but daily with increasing frequency that no statistician can ever document, terror of all sorts fills up our lives. See it in the many women who are battered in their own homes, kids who gang up on the weaker kid such as a Reena Virk, the verbal assaults that take place in churches, in schools, in workplace, a taunting look, an angry gesture, a drunk driver that could change an entire victim’s family life, the bad driver, now people of Arabic descent too cannot feel safe in their own homes and shops here in North America. What’s happened with the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, underscores for us that living in this world is not heaven, it is a world that is filled with terror and fear. It is not a world that is safe. It is fraught with dangers, life can be snuffed out in a moment. It reminds we’re all vulnerable and we need to feel secure as people.

Life does not permit very many second chances. There seems to unending threats in world gone mad that lives by the motto “you hurt me and I will hurt you back 77 times over” in the mold of biblical Lamech (Gen.4:24). The goal it seems, is to inflict harm in ways that will hurt more and more. O when will it ever end… Today as you look around in Vancouver, homes with burglar alarms, schools with earthquake drills, cars with all kinds of safety devices that cannot prevent accidents, children abducted, no one feels safe. So terror is a reality, it fills up our TV screens, and it comes without invitation into our lives. We cannot deny it. The world is not Disneyland. It shakes us up! It rocks our comfort zones, the foundations of what we have built our lives upon, the delusions of safety, as we see images of cowardly attack on our TV screens. And yes. what went on there in US must be denounced but no matter how much we noise we make about it, terror will still be around.

How can we live with it? We can sense the feelings of security of North Americans are threatened, with beefed-up security measures in airports, long line-ups at the border crossings, we’re facing a future that has the words “terror” or “terrorists” gripping our lives. Many say the world will never be the same again. And they are right with the the first murder as Cain slew Abel, the world was never the same! "Our guys would just like to get home and hug and kiss our wives and kids and know things are safe with them," Jeff Kent said. But can we ever know things are safe again?

How can terror be right here where we live and breathe? Maybe you say it won’t happen here in beautiful BC, but can you really be sure? But now reality hit and it hit hard as thousands of lives are lost! Terror could come right here to Canada, FLQ crisis in Quebec, numerous home invasions in Vancouver over the past few years, numerous children who disappear from the streets, end up dead and assaulted. About 2 years ago in Calgary, there was a bomb threat at a downtown office in Calgary. I recall that a friend of said she was working away on the 6th floor of that office building. However the Reform party’s office was on the 5th floor. Over the years they have made enemies. One of them made a bomb threat. Yup somebody wanted to blow up the building where the Reform guys made their HQ. The crazy thing was - No one was allowed to leave the building. Scary, huh? You think they would evacuate. But no! Every floor was searched but there was no bomb. Is this an uncertain world? You go to work you expect ordinary work day and lo behold a bomb threat and you could be blown to smithereens.

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