Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Ways We're Different From September 2001

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change...” (Psalm 46:2)

Ten years ago, I shared the following list of ten ways we Americans were different as a people following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Today – ten years later -- I wanted to share these words again, and invite us all to consider the extent to which they are (hopefully) still true…

“1. [Ten years ago] we were placing wreaths on the doors of our homes at Christmas; [Today] we are placing wreaths on the graves of our heroes.

2. [Ten years ago] we were letting our children play with toy guns; [Today] we’re teaching them that guns are not toys.

3. [Ten years ago] we were counting our money; [Today] we are counting our blessings.

4. [Ten years ago] we were trying not to let annoying relatives get the best of us; [Today] we are trying to give the best of ourselves to them.

5. [Ten years ago] we thought a man who could rush down a football field was a hero; [Today] we know a man who rushes into burning buildings is the real one.

6. [Ten years ago] we were getting on one another’s nerves; [Today] we are getting on our knees.

7. [Ten years ago] we thought angels were in heaven; [Today] we know that they are right here on earth.

8. [Ten years ago] we were contemplating all the changes we wanted to make in the new year; [Today] we are contemplating all the changes we will have to make in this new reality.

9. [Ten years ago] the people we idolized wore sports uniforms; [Today] the people we idolize wear police, firefighter, and military uniforms.

10. [Ten years ago] peace on earth was something we prayed for on Sunday morning; [Today] it’s something we pray and live for each and every day.”

[--Originally seen in the Dec. 21, 2001 newsletter of Trinity-on-the-Hill UMC, Augusta, GA]

If you’re reading this on September 11th and you live in Cobb County, Georgia (USA), I invite you to join us for our community-wide Interfaith “Service of Remembrance and Prayer”, 7:00pm at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. We Christians will join with members of our Jewish and Islamic communities to give thanks to all our “first responders,” and to hear a word of inspiration and hope from Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson. If you’re reading this after September 11th, please continue to pray for “peace on earth” and for the courage and wisdom to do your part to make that happen. And never forget that God loves you and I do, too!

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