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Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

A Daddy/Daughter 9/11 Dialogue

I was going to write my own thoughts about 9/11, but my son-in-law Tim Spivey posted this blog which captured my own emotions well.  

This morning I made the daily trip to Reidy Creek Elementary school with my first-grader, Anna, in-tow. The drive is only about a half-mile, but is full of traffic. We have some of our best talks during this time. Anna, like many first-graders, has a deeply inquisitive mind.

Her leadoff question this morning was a doozy. Daddy, what’s 9/11? How do you explain something like that to a kid? I was unprepared. The dialogue went
something like this:

“Well honey, 9/11 stands for September 11. It’s a sad day for grownups.”

“Why?”

“Because on September 11, some really bad men flew some airplanes into buildings full of people and a lot of people died that day. So we remember them and pray for their families today.”

“I don’t remember that.”

“Well sweetie, you weren’t born yet.”

“Oh.”

“Should I pray for the families too?”

“That would be great! And we should remember to be thankful every day for each other.”

“OK.”

“OK. You have a great day at school and remember your mommy and daddy love you.”

“I know. (She exits the car, and blows a kiss to me…and runs off.)

And I thought about the moms and dads and husbands and wives and children who didn’t know they were blowing a kiss to their loved ones for the last time that morning.

And I prayed.

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The towers had fallen, the Pentagon was on fire, but no one knew what was going to happen next. We had a small TV at the LST office, and as much as we tried to work that day, we all kept drifting back to the TV to watch the reports. 

We didn’t express our personal fears at first, but eventually someone voiced the question of who will want to get on an airplane and fly to a foreign country now? What impact did these terrorists make on the willingness of Christians to go into the world?

I had just finished writing the lead article for LST’s Fall newsletter. It was no longer the right tone, so I sat down and wrote the following:

September 11 re-shaped the world in which all of us live.  Our priorities have shifted as individuals and as a nation; the same is true at Let’s Start Talking.  This newsletter was ready on September 10—but some of it was no longer appropriate by the end of the next day.  If we took a little longer in saying to you what is on our hearts, we knew you would understand.

After the initial shock and outrage came a longer period of deeply felt grief. So many dead and missing, so much destruction, our shattered sense of security at home—the horrific reminder that this world is ruled for a time still by the Prince of Darkness—what could we do but grieve!

While grieving, however, we learned something about how to respond to tragedy and darkness.  You too probably noticed the many people running for their lives, running away from falling buildings, from death and destruction.  Everyone was running away—except for the Rescuers!  In the midst of the crisis, hundreds of firemen and police ran towards death and destruction in hopes of saving a few!  The actions of these men and women changed the future for many others.

The metaphor is powerful.  As Christians, we wear the badge of Jesus Christ, serving as Rescuers for God!  We cannot stay home and protect our own interests; we dare not retreat from going into all the world; we must not isolate or insulate our churches, our outreach, our missionaries, or ourselves in the face of darkness and destruction.  Because of the badge God gave us, because of the Name He lets us wear, we must run towards the darkness, into the danger, and look for those few that can be saved.

We at Let’s Start Talking will not forget the example set by the firemen and other rescue workers in New York.  We are calling on God to make us strong and courageous this year. We need you to go with us and support this army of God more than ever!

For those who wear the badge, the job is not yet done! Ten years later, people are still dying in darkness, buried under steel rafters of Sin. No one worried about cost, distance, or duration. Whatever it takes, wherever they are, however long it takes–those were the parameters on 9/11!

We wear the badge. We have only one choice—only one desire:  to run toward the ashy darkness with the hope of leading one more person out of destruction into light! 

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