9/11: 20 Years Later

I can’t believe it’s been twenty years since that horrific day on September 11, 2001. It blows my mind that there’s a good percentage of the population that wasn’t even alive when those events took place. I will never be able to forget walking into the offices of the Recreational Outreach Center at Germantown Baptist Church and being almost immediately called into the office of David Waddell, who pointed me to the television screen showing the image of a burning World Trade Center building. The first one had been hit by the plane and no one knew yet what was happening. I distinctly recall watching in dread and horror as the plane flew into the second building — and later when both buildings collapsed.

I also remember how we as a nation rallied and came together on September 12, 2001. I remember we were more unified in spirit and in purpose on that day than we had been in a long time previously, and definitely more than we have ever been since. To be sure, some of the patriotism turned into bigotry and hatred against anyone who even looked like they were Middle Eastern or of Arabian descent, but most of us knew who the real enemy was, and that they didn’t represent Arabs or the majority of Muslims.

That was also the time when many people flocked into churches, seeking answers and hope. Many of those people hadn’t been inside a church building in a while– some had never darkened the door of a sanctuary. Hopefully, they heard that God wasn’t taken by surprise by this latest act of terrorism. They heard that God wept with those who were grieving, but also He wasn’t just an empathizing God. He actually had the power to do something about this atrocity and work to turn even this evil for good.

I still choose to believe that God is good. Even in the midst of this beautiful but broken world, God is still working His purposes. Evil never has nor will it ever have the last word. One day, God will prevail and make all things right and restore all that has been stolen and lost and destroyed by evil. God will have the last word and hope will at last prevail.

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