September 11th to a 2002, or 2004 baby, is just a piece of history, as the holocaust may be to you and me. But to so many, it's a very real fact of our lives. We all have our "9-11 story," about where we were and what we felt. Thousands, upon thousands, still ache with the loss of loved ones. Our eyes swell with tears when we hear stories of desperate phone calls home to wives and children, and of the heroism of firefighters who risked all to save. The pain burns at times.
A conversation I had with Maura and Michael on Monday, 9-12, has stuck in my mind all week.
"Ashlee, how could someone's religion make them think it's OK to crash into buildings?" Michael wanted to know.
"They thought they would get special rewards in heaven, right?" Maura chimed in.
I had to explain that not every Muslim is as extreme as the terrorists on 9-11. These men were "special."
But ultimately, my kiddos didn't care about the Islamic Jihad, they wanted to know how those terrorists could think that killing thousands of people would make God happy... and did it make God happy?
"They don't think God is our loving Father, like you and I do. They don't know that God is really full of love and mercy."
Michael's response was typical Michael-ese. "Well that's dumb."
It's not dumb, buddy, it's horrible. Thousands of people died at the hands of men, because those men believed a lie about the character of God, that captures their soul, instead of frees it.
So that conversation set the stage for my heart's meditation this week. Do I believe the truth about God's character? Am I ever worshipping the supreme Creator, and loving Father, the Bible assures us we have? Am I living, out of gratefulness, a life to please Him?
I've been reading through Ephesians this week, and was struck again by the love of God,
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us... made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith... it is a gift of God..." (Eph 2:4-9)