Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later

Today is September 11, 2008. This morning on television, they read the names again, so we could once again if we could ever forget. Seven years later there are still tears running down faces. Seven years later there are still children who have never met their dad. Seven years later we still shake our heads in disbelief. Seven years later we still understand that the only safe place is "in Christ".

Seven years ago, I wrote the following thoughts in the Preschool Press (my little weekly announcement page for my preschool Sunday School teachers at church). Just wanted to share them one more time, because they still ring true.

I love America. You know I do. I love everything about it, and I’m so crazy patriotic that I embarrass my kids. I unabashedly wave flags, sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the top of my lungs, vote responsibly at EVERY election, even little ones, and cry at fourth of July fireworks shows. I love all it is, all it has to offer…the pureness of being able to gulp freedom like a jug of cold water, even when it hurts...and sometimes it does. I even loved the frustration of the 2000 presidential election, as we breathlessly waited for freedom to run its full course, as it eventually did. It’s how we live. It’s who we are. It’s all we’ve ever known.

Freedom is an incredible blessing, and an incredible responsibility. I learned that afresh from listening to the limits my daughter experienced being in a Communist nation this summer. I heard the sound of the gate slamming behind her team as they entered their college campus, the sound of the loud speaker that called the students to morning calisthenics at 6:00 a.m., the sound of the blinds being quickly closed as they turned on the VCR and quietly watched the Jesus video with friends.

Freedom. America. You say them in the same breath.

This has been a week of profound sadness for us all. Our blessed America has been attacked in an inconceivable act of evil. And we have all been changed forever. We’ve experienced every emotion possible from shock and disbelief, to sadness, helplessness, emptiness, disgust, and anger. Tears just keep welling up in our eyes and rolling down our cheeks in the middle of the day without warning. However, I most deeply hurt for our children, because their America will never be the same again.

So where do we go from here? How do we live from this day forward? What do we tell our children?

Start here: Hug your kids/grandkids tight, and remember the true source of our freedom: “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” John 8:36. Then finish here: “The Lord is for me. I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6 and “Do not be afraid of those who hurt the body, but cannot hurt the soul.” Matthew 10:28 Now we know first hand, the only safe place is truly “IN CHRIST”.

Hold your head high, and live in peace. You are my precious family. And, God bless America!

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