Everyone is talking about ten years ago. Where were you ten years ago. What was happening ten years ago? The thing is if people aren’t asking those questions, they are making definitive statements like I remember it like it was yesterday, or everyone knows exactly where they were ten years ago.
I of course remember very vividly where I was ten years ago, I remember the feeling of confusion, and sadness, what I don’t remember is a feeling of anger or outrage, or even fear, and while that may seem unpatriotic or less than American, I’m okay with that. I know that what happened that day was wrong, I know that terrorism against anyone is wrong, I know that the country needed to respond. I understand the anger and fear and bitterness that so many feel and I can empathize with them, however I still come back to the thing that so many say I should feel or should have felt. The big words of never and always, the racism and fear that don’t seem to diminish.
I look at my own life of the past few years and realize that there is this spiritual Jihad going on and every time I seem to start to see a light at the end of the dark time, a plane slams into the trade center that is my life and destroys it. I look at so many things through very different lenses these days.
The people who lost loved ones in the towers on that fateful Tuesday are in my thoughts and prayers but I wonder if the right wing evangelical community that I have been a part of and have done my level best to distance myself from, especially in the past four years would be shocked to realize that it’s not just the Americans that died and their families that I pray for.
Listening to NPR on the way into church this morning, one of the leaders during that time spoke of the secret war that had already been going on in Afghanistan, years before the 9/11 attacks. American CIA agents in a country conducting a campaign against a people group that had no direct influence that we knew of of on American Soil. Would we call it terrorism? How many acceptable casualties of the private war were civilians just like the thousands that died on that horrific day? What makes our private war, our acts of terrorism legitimate, or acceptable? Why do so many people of faith find it easy to hate and use very anti christian rhetoric when it comes to a group of people who need the one thing that Christians have, that should set them apart? It’s not politics, it’s not a moral majority agenda, it’s not a debt reduction plan or a pro life agenda, or a tea party plan to get America back on track. How many of my fellow Christians pray for the families of those who were so ready to die for their beliefs that they left family and friends and country and went off on the most horrific mission of their lives? A mission that would forever embed a hatred of a group of people who are lost and hurting?
I have spent that past four years of my life vacillating between depression, anger, sadness, confusion, bitterness, and lack of faith. I go to church for my family, I read and pray every day because it’s what I’m supposed to do. I yell at God and question why, I find myself doing all the things I can imagine a person who lost someone on that day all those years ago doing, and I’m sure that they are still doing it ten years later. I wonder how they feel when they have a good day, or when things start to look up, I wonder if they feel guilty for being happy, I wonder if they even feel true happiness. I wonder if the family of one of the hijackers sits today asking why if they have the same questions, if they realize that they don’t get the chance to change things, to apologize over and over again to a group of people who will never really embrace them, never really forgive them, never really accept them.
Which brings me to the title of this weeks blog. I look at life, my life and while I know how I was raised, and I know what the answer is in my head. I know that it is a huge admission and that many of you will think that I’ve lost my faith in God, some may even think my salvation. I wonder if God is up to being who I need him to be. He has given me back my wife, he has given me soon to be three children, and I appreciate that but it’s not enough for me. I have those things and all the false hopes and false starts that are thrown my way. I feel like he has chosen to turn away from the areas that I need him in the most.