Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

**Written 9-13-2001, two days after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center**

This whole time of tragedy has truly affected me more than I would have ever anticipated. It has me thinking a lot about so many different things, and there is nothing simple about it.

My sentiments vary from that of the typical american. Of this, I am convinced. Let me start by saying that the acts of violence have been truly horrendous. They are TERRIBLE, and among all of my thoughts, not one is denying the horrible nature of this tragedy.

However, like I said, my sentiments are very atypical of your average american. Not once have I felt patriotic during all of this. I don't necessarily feel that my COUNTRY was attacked, nor do I know if it is a time for nationalism. I think we should hurt just as much regardless of who was killed. Also, I think often the United States arrogantly totes itself around like the Mighty USA that is invincible, and somewhere people are laughing that 4 plane crashes nearly brought us down, if even for a day.

The obvious question lately has been, "now what?" A popular consensus is to launch a military attack or to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and kill him. First of all, it is too early to be too sure who has done this. Second of all, as a pacifist and conscientious objector, and most of all a Christian, I never think that violent attacks, whether against nations or individuals, are appropriate.

So, now what? Of course I say pray for the victims and their families. That is highly important, but to simply end at that is a cheap answer. It is like we simply want to be detached from everyone's problems. However, Christ presents us with a very radical answer-- "You have heard an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...but I tell you to love your enemies and pray for those who hate you." your enemies...pray for those who HATE you, rather than perpetuating the hate. That is radical. To try to administer justice through violence is believing that our human capabilities can somehow bring resolution. However, to put it into the hands of God through prayer and to love, even when you have been wronged, is showing that we, in our human-ness, are inadequate and that God can bring justice in a completely new way, other than violence.

My prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank you for the day you have given us. Thank you for being the same God you are today that you were Monday, before the chaos began. May we learn to praise you and give thanks, amidst the tragedy. Please, bring your spirit of comfort to us today. Fill us with your love. Fill us so that we, too, may love with your love. Help us look to your Word, knowing that we can only love our enemies with your help. Give us your peace, and help us pursue peace. Guide our leaders to make the best decisions according to your will. Break through the hatred and pain. Unite us not only as a country, but as a world. Open us up to learn from this and to receive and administer love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. We thank you God for all you do. And it is in the name of your Son who, too, was the victim of hate in violence that we pray this. Amen

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