It has been six years since our nation experienced the worst attack in her history. I can still remember where I was on that day. At Washington Bible College, just minutes away from the nation’s capital, we were having our annual Spiritual Life Day. That year we scheduled to have a morning of prayer and praise. Right around the time that we had scheduled to pray for our country, Prof. Dave Shive informed us about the first tower. I thought, what a tragic accident. I hope everyone is okay. Just minutes later, Prof. Shive informed us about the second hit, and another plane was said to be headed toward the White House. He said that our nation is under attack. I remember his words so clear. “I don’t want anyone to leave this building. We are excactly where we need to be right now. We need to pray for our country.” Admittedly, I was still very fearful and unsure about what was going on. Was my Nana okay? She lives in SE Washington. Was Mom okay? She works downtown. Would Dad be okay? Has he already left for work? Will he be okay working for Metro? I remember all of those thoughts so clearly.
I still tear up when I think about that day and the days that immediately followed. I remember going to church the following Sunday and being absolutely amazed at how many people attended. I remember praying that God would use this to shake us from our lethargy and unorthodoxy. I am still praying.
How do we honor those who have died? I believe that right now some of the victims are in the presence of the Almighty. Their faith has been made sight. There are other victims who have been banished from the Almighty. Their worst nightmares have come true, as they are experiencing the fullness of His wrath on their souls. We would honor both groups of victims this way: by living with all we have within us to display and to proclaim the truth about God and humanity.
My thoughts are grounded in the Scriptures. Listen to Jesus’ words, and pray that God will work through us to open eyes and hearts to the truth of the Gospel before the Day of the Lord comes, which will far surpass 9/11:
There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.”
But Abraham said, “Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you are not able, and none may cross from there to us.”
And he said, “Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house– for I have five brothers– so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”
And he said, “No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”
He said to them, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31 ESV).