The images are still so clearly burned into my mind. People jumping from windows. The buildings collapsing. The plane actually hitting the second of the Twin Towers. People running down the streets as a huge cloud of dust and debris chased them.
Three thousand people! That's half the people in Decatur. Each one a person who was loved and who loved. Their absence has interrupted the flow of a family.
So what are we learning from the events of five years ago today? I know my 1st reaction was RETALIATE. Hit them harder than they hit us. I remember hearing one woman say (and I'm sure it was the feeling of millions of others), 'Let's just nuke all those Arabs." Looking back, I don't think my reaction was the most Christlike I could have had. But we were left feeling so helpless.
This morning, I found myself praying for Osama Bin Laden. He and his cohorts desperately need Jesus. How sad it must be to believe in a god who would delight in terrorism and murder. If that were the only option on the table, I would choose to be an atheist. But it's not. And even though Christians through the ages have done some pretty ungodly things, too -- it's not because we have been reflecting the nature of our Father or our Savior.
My prayer this morning (and many mornings) has also been that Islam will just implode upon itself. That it will just cease to be. Not because we have out-killed them or out-weaponed them. But because it is seen for what it is. And because Jesus is seen for Who He is.
So five years removed from that day, that is what I have learned. I never want to be desensitized to 9-11. May we never forget it. But may we learn to be Christ to the world in the way we Christians respond.