September 11th will never be just another day. In fact, this date will never ever be just another day in the calendar. It's been eleven years since it happened, since the lives of innocent men and women of different backgrounds, were extinguished. And yet for those families and friends, eleven years of pain and sorrow, loneliness and longings, mean nothing to erase the memories of loved ones now forever gone. They say that time heals all wounds. Does it really?
I will never fathom the depth of the pain and sufferings these families went through and go through as years pass. But like the rest of the world that day, I shed tears for the dead who were strangers to me, felt anger and outrage at those who committed the crime and questioned the cause and meaning of it all. The world was changed by the tragedy of 9/11. Whether it changed America for better or worse is up for debate. Some say for good because now we will never take our loved ones for granted. We realize how fragile life is, how it can end without warning, and how important it is to keep our priorities straight. Some suggest that it made us strong as a nation, it has drawn us together as Americans, sharing a common tragedy and united us in opposing evil. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it has made us search our inner most being and brought us face to face with the transcendent. We are all mortals and fragile. In the words of the Psalmist: "our life is like a flower, it blossoms in the morning and withers in the evening."
And still, some will argue the opposite. The tragedy made us hard as a nation, distrustful of anything not "American," narrow-minded in the pursuit of justice and unflinching in the war on terror to the point of obsession. It has made us fearful, paranoid and hard. I still have trouble looking at photos and re-runs of 9/11.
I am not a politician and so my opinion will not have any weight in the political discussions and many will consider me naive and too simplistic. But in this time of hate and divisions, fear and panic, we need to have recourse to God. He alone can give peace to our heart and the wisdom to do the things necessary to effect a real change. These are the times when good men and women are really tried. These are the times when our collective and individual faiths are really put to the test, But we are called to be people of peace. I share my thoughts because I know that behind any darkness is a silver lining. The death of Jesus did not make sense either in the eyes of his followers. Many times our own sufferings do not make any sense to us. If there is to be any redeeming quality to this awful act of violence and evil, we would have to look at it with the eyes of faith and hope. The science of the Cross is hard to understand with our natural minds. We can only remain steadfast in our belief that God can draw something good out of evil. The horror was unspeakable, the malice so dark and the hatred of those who perpetrated it was beyond explanation. One would ask, what should we do with someone or group threatening to do violence? Should we fight guns and bombs with palm branches? I would say no. But let peace begin with our words, our actions and our relationships with our fellow Christians and non-Christians alike. Jesus said that whoever is not against Him is for Him. So why do we tear each other apart when we were all baptized in His name and we all want what is good? Let us begin with what we have in common and not with what divides us. In the end evil will not triumph. God promised: "Do not be afraid, I have overcome the world!" These are not empty words even if they cannot heal the gaping wound of loss and pain. God is faithful, He will fulfill His promise. For a Christian, our hope is in God. Despite the evil in the world, we are to rise above despair and fear and place our trust in the God who is still in charge.