September 11, 2001
Americans mourn the events of that day but look forward with hope.
After teaching English to high school second language learners, I heard a co-worker mention a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Surely she is mistaken, I thought as I called my husband while traveling to the next school. He confirmed the horrific news.
For several days, tears rolled down my cheeks during the Pledge of Allegiance and the music of our national anthem. I choked back sobs for the country I love and for fellow citizens who’d lost loved ones. Sympathy pooled in the eyes of my teenage students whose families immigrated to my homeland.
Terrorists cause earth-shaking destruction by implementing their evil plots, but other people can provoke varying degrees of devastation. Criminals puncture the sense of security in the lives of victims. Those in positions of authority can erode confidence by lashing out with impatience at those who hinder progress or lack understanding. Apathetic individuals withhold respect and assistance for needy souls.
Our words, facial expressions, actions, or indifference can either crack the foundation of someone’s joy or add bricks to their wall of hope.
As patriots, we honor heroes as well as families who were forever changed by 9-11. If we are to follow in the footsteps of those heroes, we must focus on protecting and caring for our fellow man.
As individuals, we can help build a strong nation by seeking God as we edify families, friends, churches, workplaces, and communities one person at a time. Paul instructed believers:
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
In his 1989 inaugural address, President George H. W. Bush encouraged Americans to extend a helping hand, and he compared American volunteers to “a thousand points of light.”
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16 ESV
As we reflect on the events of September 11 and ponder our role in blessing others, let’s ask these questions:
- Do my words and actions destroy or build up the people in my life?
- Do I reflect Christlike love and concern as I interact with others?
- Is someone near me longing to hear the gospel and experience the peace of Christ?
- Does an acquaintance need job counseling or parenting skills or friendship?
- Would a young person benefit from the guidance of an experienced elder?
- Am I a builder?
- Which construction tools has God placed in my hands?
Meditating on the following verses will strengthen our resolve to be builders in our communities as we share Christ and His love:
3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:3-5