Five Years Ago

Five years and a week ago today, I was in New York City. My family had gone up to West Point New York to visit my aunt and uncle, and Monday (Labor Day) of 01 was our day to take a trip down to the city. We did canal street. We did broadway. We walked right underneath the World Trade Center.

A week later, they were gone.

However, unlike most people, I didn’t see things happening in real time. My high school was one of the few who kept us in the dark about what was occuring in our world on that day. Around second period, we were hearing whispers that something had happened. Something bad. Something, but we didn’t know what.

At Lunch, I over heard a youth minister talking to my Geometry teacher. “Maybe 50,000 dead,” I heard. I wanted to know what was going on. I’d soon get a taste.

Fourth period, all the teachers at school were allowed to make one statement. “Earlier this morning, two planes hit the world trade center in New York.” No questions were answered. Nothing more than that statement.

When school let out, I went straight to my car to turn on the radio. I figured Sean Hannity would be talking about what happened. Turns out, everyone was talking about what happened. No music. Just talk. Descriptions of images I had yet to see on every station. I figured I should skip baseball practice.

When I got home, my mom was glued to the tv set. I sat down in awe as I saw the first images of what had occured that morning. Disbelief. No homework would be done for the next couple days as I spent every minute at home in front of the television.

I’m not going to lie. I was angry. I didn’t love my enemies at that point. I hated my enemies. Whether it was Saddam or Osama, I wanted them dead. I actually remember saying that we should string up Osama bin Laden in New York city and Let everyone have a turn hitting him with a baseball bat. Its amazing how when faced with evil, we turn away from Christ.

Still looking back on it five years later, I don’t know how to love Osama bin Laden. I don’t know how to love the men who flew planes into buildings, killing nearly 3000 people. I pray that I can find the strength. I pray for the kingdom of God to break out in the world so that true peace can occur. I pray for forgiveness for harboring hate in my heart.


4 responses to “Five Years Ago

  1. Here is another outcome – on the same day – over one hundred years ago.

    May we all find peace ~

  2. Justin,
    I hear your prayer, may I offer one along side with you?

    Lord Jesus Christ, Who commanded us to love our enemies, and those who defame and injure us, and to pray for them and forgive them; to grant to our enemies true peace and forgiveness of sins; and do not allow them to leave this life without true faith and sincere conversion. And help us repay evil with goodness, and to remain safe from the temptations of the devil and from all the perils which threaten us, in the form of visible and invisible enemies. Amen.

  3. loving your enemies is often framed in terms of how it affects those who do the loving, but loving your enemies is also about how it affects those who are your enemies. Jesus wanted his kingdom here on earth, not just Christians with bruised cheeks and no coats. while those affected did not deserve what happened on 9/11, what happened happened in part because of the actions of our country over a long time. it is important to heal that relationship, though I don’t know how. Loving your enemy is about healing the rift even if you didn’t mean to cause it. I can already hear the “blame america first” cries… 🙂

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