Even after ten years, I still feel uneasy and sad every time I see the images of smoke, ashes, and brave men trudging into the burning towers in lower Manhattan. Who can forget where they were, who they were with, and what they thought and felt when they saw the live images of the Twin Towers? And for many of us, those thoughts and feelings were just a drop in a bucket compared to what too many had to experience.
I have dreaded explaining those images to my boys. But last week, my oldest son asked me if those planes had really flown into a building. So that commenced a very short explanation on my part that, yes, that had really happened a few years before you were born. And that's a big reason why we have "army guys" overseas fighting the bad guys.
But, he wanted to know, if the bad guys were flying the planes, then that means they died, too?
Yes. But they hated America and Americans, and they knew they could kill many people that way. And then he said very seriously, as only a seven-year old can, "That's weird. That they hated Americans so much that they would die."
At that point, he moved on to something else (for which I was glad), but what he had said continued to overshadow my thoughts. They hated so much, that they would die. That really is what it boils down to. Hate.
As a Christian, I know that if hate - which is evil - is strong, then Love - which is God-given - is stronger. Christ tells us that those who truly love will give their lives for a friend. For me, this truth always has brought to mind the Ultimate Sacrifice - the picture of Christ dying for us. Although many have died for someone else - the firefighters and policemen of New York did just that - the truth is, we don't actually have to die to give our lives for others.
You see, I'm thankful for people like our friends, the Coats Family, who have given up a comfortable life in the States so they can minister to children in a much less comfortable place.
I'm thankful for my own mother who gave up a decent-paying job so she could raise my sister and me at home.
I'm thankful for the men and women and their families who are willing to serve our country because of their love for its people and the way of life it offers.
I'm thankful for the teachers I had in Christian school and in Bible college who laid aside monetary gain and worldly prestige so they could invest much in the lives of their students.
I'm thankful for my husband, who I often see lay aside his "wants" and what little leisure time he has so he can give to his family.
So, yes, this week I was reminded of the kind of men who would sacrifice their lives on the altar of hate. But even more, I am reminded of the many who lay down their "rights," their lives, so they can make someone else's life better. These people are the kind that love enough that they are willing to ...be uncomfortable... give more than they get... be tired and disappointed... or even die. But they still give. It is people such as these who exemplify what is great in our country.
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