I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Last Word on 9/11: Love

Original description: "The American flag ...Image via WikipediaIn some ways, it doesn’t seem like it’s been ten years since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Perhaps it’s because the older I get, the faster time passes. Or perhaps it’s because we saw the best and worst of humanity at work. Or perhaps I haven't healed, and the experience still feels fresh, like a raw wound that has not scarred over yet.

We all remember where we were that day with startling clarity (as for me, my newborn woke us early, our street was being repaved, the weather was humid) and how the news affected and changed us (for good or for ill).

There are many opinions about our response as a country—in terms of our world standing, politics, security, and just war—and while I don’t discount those weighty issues, I will not be addressing them here. Nor will I be considering them in my own private memorial for September 11.

For me, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is a day to pray for the families, survivors, and victims, and to pray for my own family, a precious group whom I am helpless to completely protect from the evils of this world.

I read something recently that resonated with me. After the planes hit the World Trade Center Towers, hundreds of people trapped in the buildings or held hostage by terrorists on Flight 93 were able to phone their loved ones. These men and women knew they were near death. Some knew they were being murdered.

According to their families, most of these victims shared a message with a single theme. Their last words were not angry, nor pleas for justice or demands for vengeance.

“I love you. Tell the kids I love them. Tell Mom and Dad. I’ve always loved you all. You are my life. You are my heart. You are the best things that ever happened to me. I love you. I love you.”

Their last words on 9/11 were love.

I don’t want to die angry. I do not want my last moments to be filled with rage or fear. I want love and gratitude to reign in my heart those minutes before I fly into the arms of Jesus.

I am certainly not saying that justice should go unobserved. But as a Christian, I believe that vengeance belongs to the Lord, and only He can and will truly set the universe right. No nation can achieve the peace of God.

I certainly can’t achieve it. All I can do is work in my own corner of the world with the people He’s given me to work His peace, to share His love.

And love, to most of the victims of 9/11, was ultimately what mattered most.

I vow not to squander love, the only thing that truly matters. This 9/11, my intent is to grieve the loss, honor the heroes and victims, and support our military (one of whom is my godson, serving in Kuwait).

But on 9/11 I also vow to love my husband, children, family, and friends. Because as far as I can help it it, love will be my last word, and I want it to flow through every word I speak until then.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Niki Turner said...

Susie, this brought on tears. How true, and how easy it is to forget in the midst of the daily grind!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thanks Niki, for directing me here. So, so true, Susie. So wonderfully said.

Jessica Nelson said...

What a beautiful post. This is so true. Such a sad time that I hope never happens again...

Susanne Dietze said...

Niki, I cried a bit while writing it. The observance is so painful, on so many levels: thinking of the people who died, the bravery of the heroes and our armed forces, how the world has changed, and what I would do if I were in the tower, or had to go on living if my loved one were on one of the planes.

I hope to keep on working for love to rule in my heart.

Thanks for directing others here. God bless you, sister.

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Deb. Thanks so much for your visit. I was just thinking of you and Gnorman. Hoping both of you are well!

Susanne Dietze said...

Jessica, I pray nothing like this ever happens to anyone again. Some people would roll their eyes at me, and I know evil is real and prevalent in our world, but I can pray anyway.

I am so glad you stopped by. Blessings.

Sheila said...

Such a great message! And thanks Debbie for sharing Susanne's post:)

Roseanna White said...

Beautifully put.

Susanne Dietze said...

Sheila, thanks so much for coming by. I appreciate your kindness.

Deb is a gem, isn't she?

Susanne Dietze said...

Thanks for your visit, Roseanna. You wrote a powerful piece for today, and I thank you for the reminder.