Remembering a Date Etched Forever

It has been a frustrating day where every little thing that can go wrong does.  Technology seems to work against me just for spite.  I am positive it is the operator, and I hate that we are so dependant for our everyday lives to function.  So, when it doesn't work properly, it can send me in a terrible mood quickly.  I also had to fill in for a Sunday School class, along with play the piano for my mom who was sick.  Sundays can be stressful and hectic at times, but I remembered a verse to ease my tension..."Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9. 

I was quickly reminded through a memorial video that was played at church at how futile and small my little frustrations can become in comparison to so many things around me.   I don't ever watch TV anymore, so I haven't seen flashbacks that I am sure have been on for the last several days.  As I watched some videos, photos, and sound clips of that horrid day, I was taken back to the exact place I saw what happened ten years ago. 

I read stories of so many that remember exactly what they were doing, and I do too.  I was teaching my first year in Van Buren County when a middle school student burst into my room as classes were changing and told me to turn on the television because a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I thought he was joking.  Seriously.  It took a few others to tell me the same story within a few minutes for me to actually take him seriously.  We all watched in horror and shock as we soon watched the second plane crash into the other tower. 

I was stunned, along with the rest of our country.  I couldn't believe what I was watching.  I didn't know anyone personally, but I was definitely impacted.  I was fearful of the future and what would happen next in our country.  I knew this meant war but I wasn't sure how it would affect everyone.  I just wanted to go home to be with Landon and all my loved ones. 

It is hard to believe it has been ten years because it is still so vivid when I see the images.  I can only imagine the pain survivors must be going through as they reflect on the day that changed their life forever.  My heart breaks for their loss and the heartache that was avoidable.

I am doing a bible study by Pricilla Shirer on the life of Jonah.  Of course, nearly everyone knows the "story" of Jonah, but I learned some things I hadn't ever considered.   I didn't really think about his strong resistance toward going to Ninevah, where he was so clearly called to go.  Ninevah was in Assyria, which was an enemy nation to Israel.  Jonah's ministry was focused on foretelling the expansion and prosperity of Israel. 

In the first half of the 8th century B.C., Ninevah was one of the principal provinces in Assyria.  The Assyrians had a reputation for inflicting physical and psycological terror on its enemies, including Israel.  Some of Jonah's loved ones may have suffered and been killed at this time.  Jonah placed no value on Ninevah or its inhabitants.  If Ninevah received God's mercy, they might stand in the way of Israel's prosperity.  To Jonah, God's directions to go and preach the message of hope and deliverance to his enemies didn't make sense to him, so he went as far as he could in the opposite direction. 

Jonah was an elitist and hypernationalist.  He was a patriot so dedicated to his people that he saw obedience to God's intervention as contrary to loyalty.  In actuality he had pledged allegiance not to God but to his people.

We were asked in our study if we grew up with a hatred or fear of any group of people?  We were to explain who and why.  I immediately thought of my feelings after 9-11-01.  I did have a hatred toward not only the group of terrorists who would do such a violent act but also the ones who stood by in other countries and cheered.  If God were to call me to go and minister to this particular group of people who are our enemies as he did Jonah, what would I do?  If I lost a loved one in the attacks on September 11, how would I respond to the calling to go and minister to the ones who had been responsible for their death?  Jonah is ridiculed by millions over many generations for basically the same thing.  

This happened a little over two years before Logan was born, and this is the first time he has heard of these events that took place.  He was asking me lots of questions today, and I showed him some pictures and explained some of the details.  I didn't want him to be afraid, but he was really concerned about what happened and wanted all of the details.  He said, "So our enemy came and died in the planes just to kill our people?"  Then I had to explain that they believe in a different god than we do.  Our God doesn't require acts of violence like that to be accepted into His own.  I explained that those people need Jesus just like so many others.  How I can casually say that without earnestly praying for the lost.  There are so many who are lost and willing to die for a false hope.  It is my prayer today that I have a genuine passion for the lost and will be willing to do and go wherever he leads without running in the other direction as far as I can go.  We are all called to love, even our enemies.  This is not possible at times with our flesh, it requires God working through us to pour out the kind of love He asks us to give. 

We remember and are praying for your families you left behind ten years ago....

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