Sunday marks 10 years since the horrific attacks on our nation, an event we simply call 9/11.
Do you remember where you were that Tuesday morning? I was walking toward the cash register in a restaurant north of Detroit to pay for my breakfast when the owner grabbed me, pointed at his tiny black and white television and exclaimed, “They flew a plane into the World Trade Center!”
At first I had no idea what was going on. When I saw what happened with the first plane, it did not occur to me that it was an intentional act. But we soon would learn our nation was under attack.
I remember being as frightened as I ever had been. And the fear did not subside for a number of days. In fact, we still have remnants of fear every time we board a plane.
There can be no debate that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, were evil in their intent and their result. Those who hijacked those planes committed the most despicable and cowardly acts imaginable.
It is important that we call evil what it really is. Anyone who claims that the notion of right and wrong is completely subjective either is deceived or deceptive. These actions were evil. They were wrong. They illustrate for us the worst of human behavior.
But it also is true that in the midst of this tragedy, we saw the best of human behavior. There were those on the plane over Pennsylvania who heroically saved the lives of countless others. Many first responders in New York City gave their lives for people they never knew.
It is a good thing for us to remember. It is a good thing to give thanks to God for those who stepped up to help and to ask for his mercy for those who lost loved ones on that day.
I hope you will take the time Sunday to remember. Perhaps you will attend a memorial service. Many churches will pause to reflect in the midst of their services. And in other places, there will be joint services to commemorate the day.
In Pembroke, a number of churches will meet at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Christian Church on Hwy. 280 to remember. We also will give thanks to God for his blessings and ask that he continue to give them.
As we remember, we also must learn to forgive. That does not mean to forget. But we learn to forgive as Christ forgave.
That’s a hard thing to do, but it is God’s way. To forgive is not to be weak. In fact, it is to be stronger than you can imagine.
Only God can forgive completely, but we can learn. I pray that you will learn to forgive and that we will seek the Lord’s guidance and blessing for our lives, churches, community, country and world.