Just Thinking


I was thinking on the way to the office this morning (that sounds like the start of a good joke). 9/11. Many of you have talked about this event today. Here is one I appreciated and another perspective I thought was great. You wrote about where you were, perspectives on it and memories for those lost. What happened on 9/11 is probably one of the most “life changing” events that has ever happened to the United States. It changed our freedoms, it changed our policies, it has put Islam and Christianity in the spotlight…against each other. It was devastating. But, not for any of those reasons. Reason? Over 3,000 people were murdered that day. That’s horrendous.

It made me think though. What makes an event a tragedy? What makes an event worth memorializing? There was a memorial this AM at the WTC site. It wasn’t to remember the events of the day, it was to remember the lives lost…I think. I pray that the events that took place around the country today were to remember the lost, NOT to remember how we were wronged. Can you see the difference here? Maybe I speak for myself, but hear me out. Again, what makes an event a tragedy? If a child is walking to school and gets hit by a car and killed, is it a tragedy? Or maybe it is when that same kid is on a school bus with 40 other children driving to school and the bus is in an accident and all 40 kids are killed. Or maybe it is when planes fly into a building and adults and children are killed? If I were to answer the questions above, I would say ALL are tragedies. ALL deserve the same respect and memorial. Not just one becasue it’s bigger or more political.

Here’s where my thoughts took me. Does memorializing specific events trivialize or discount other lives that were lost in other tragic events? I would hope not. I would pray that today we remember lives that have been affected by tragedy. In war, on 9/11, maybe something in your family or a friend down the street. Maybe rembering all of them will help us better know how to care for all in need, not just a specific few.

How does this play in your mind?


15 Responses to “Just Thinking”

  1. I don’t think that commemorating one event makes light of others. People have different reasons for remembering 9/11, certainly. I choose to reflect on the courage of the people aboard United Flight 93 and those who entered the chaos at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and did whatever they could to save lives. This may be trite, but often the best in people comes out in the worst of times.

  2. 2 godsgalchild

    For me, and it’s embarrassing to even say this, but i become numb. Unless it is someone I know locally etc., all the shows on deaths becaue of starvation, disease, natural disasters….makes me numb. The amount of need and sorrow becomes overwhelming. I know it starts with me, in the streets of Medford, helping homeless, abused people and children, even our school systems, where walking down any hall you can find any drug you can want. Those are tragedies too…regardless if it’s one life or a thousand, we know as believers the answer if Jesus, and if the Lord chooses not to use us at times to reach the thousands, we can be effective by just blooming where we are planted…

  3. It’s gotten to where I have to force myself to remember why we are mourning. 9/11 has been such a political pawn that we have a hard time seperating it now.

    As for tragedies in general, I think anytime something horrible happens or someone dies and it’s unexpected, it’s a tragedy.

  4. Thanks for the responses!

    odgie – Thanks for coming by. It’s a pleasure. I think what you’ve written is to me a true memorial. There is part of me that doesn’t see memorials, in the way they are done, as remembering deaths. I think memorials should celebrate the lives. As you say, those that were the best in the worst of times as well as those whose lives were cut short.

    godsgalchild – I’ve said this before, but because I have the privilege of knowing you, I think I know your heart a little. There are those that get numb because they don’t care and those who get numb because it is too overwhelming a need. you are definitely the latter. You don’t cease to love when things feel overwhelming though.

    mudpuppy – that is a fear of mine, that people remember this day with anger and politics instead of remembering the people.

  5. 5 lazrus2

    I’ve been thinking a lot about your question here about ‘tragedy’ in context of Tammy’s perspective on 9/11(the first you noted here in your post). These are my thoughts:
    Say the people in the World Trade Center had received numerous memos that the towers would be destroyed 9/11/01 AM. They ignored the warnings, and came to work anyway ‘business as usual’. Then when the towers were hit and collapsed on them, they found themselves trapped and engulfed in flames. Say the very person who sent the memos warning them sent His only Son to save them. But their pride to admit they were wrong, or their denial to admit they needed help or couldn’t save themselves kept them from accepting the ‘rescuer’. Not only that, but they killed him! He didn’t stay dead though, but came back to give them another chance, and they still rejected Him and died in the flames. I’d say that’s TRAGEDY, and God does too in the ‘rest of the story’ of John 3:16 in verses 18-21).
    I can’t imagine a more accurate modern day depiction of hell than dying in that inferno, yet the real tragedy is that God has done everything possible to rescue us, and some will still choose to reject Him and perish there.
    It doesn’t mean though that we stop being His ‘rescuers’ no matter the risk to us.
    Morals:* Take His ‘memos’ seriously
    * Know we need help and accept it
    * If we don’t the first time, do
    the next
    * Don’t forget to thank Him–mostly
    by following His example to save
    others too
    ‘Sorry for the length of this, but I thought about a lot more–this is the ‘condensed gospel’.

  6. Thanks lazrus2 – I see what you have written as the ultimate conclusion to any questions that might arise in the process of understanding tragedy. What you’ve shown us is the ultimate tragedy. Thanks for detailing it out so clearly.

  7. D- Perfectly and eloquently said!!!

  8. 8 Cheryl

    9/11 was stunning and it didn’t really hit “home” for me until I found out that a girl from my high school was one of the 3,000. She was a year behind me and I remember her as being really nice. Her family always had foster kids in their home. One of the few non-Americans. She left behind a little girl who was 18 mos at the time. So I think of her little girl and for her husband who decided not to go to work early that morning…still unbelieveable after 6 years.

  9. Wow Cheryl that really does hit home for you. You are the kind of person I was speaking to in my thoughts. It is hard for us, at a distance to truly care. Like godsgalchild was saying, I think many are numb when it is not close to them. But, like lazrus2 said, we should not forget and even see it as a “Great” commission.

  10. 10 Cheryl

    The crazy thing is that because it was almost 19 years after graduation when it happened, I just bet that there are people who still don’t know. I didn’t find out until almost 3 months after.

  11. One thing that I always remember is that it could have been 15,000 instead of 3,000. If things had gone according to the terrorist’s plans that’s what we would have had. Their deaths remind us how much more awful it could have been, as if anything cold be worse.

    We talk about the number of US soldiers who have died in combat over the last 5 years. To some this is tragic. To the men and women of the military (and often their families)this is the possible outcome of their purpose in life. In World War II more than this many American soldiers would be killed in one day. I think that it is good that we tend not to trivialize the numbers, if we don’t want to return to those days of expend ability.

    Last fall my son’s best friend deliberately stepped off the edge of a cliff and ended his own life at the age of 19. That was tragic.

  12. ps. I don’t mean to interupt the stream of conversation going on here, but I’d love your input on this post!


  13. Thanks Christian. I appreciate your thoughts on this. And a good perspective when it comes to living in the dark on this. We can often get caught up in everything that was bad about a situation and not focus on the blessings that have come out of it. Even when those blessings are hard to see through the fog.

    mudpuupy – I’m cracking up, I feel like we’ve just had a “Break in programming to bring you some important information!” LOL

    Sounds good I’ll be over to check it out.

  14. Eccl 7:2 says
    “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart.” NLT

    I think this verse also applies to memorials. When I think about this stuff it helps me remember what is really important (loving people) and the little time I might have to do it.

  15. I agree frdave. I think you and lazrus2 have hit the tone. Our heart poured out to love those who need Jesus. Memorial reminds of this and in some ways strengthens us to continue on with His plan.

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