Four coordinated attacks

Secret suicide pacts

Immeasurably tragic acts

Planes en route from Boston, Newark and Washington DC,

American Airlines 11, 77, 175, and United 93

transported hard working fathers, big sisters and little brothers, new mothers, acquaintences and lovers and so many others from their day to day routines to their obscene deaths.

I remember watching, as I am sure you do too, as the planes flew straight into the buildings. 

Watching Flight 77 printed on the tv screen under a shot of another building, another fire.

Hearing “Flight 77 left Dulles International Airport at 8:20am this morning” and feeling my stomach grow cold, feeling numbness enfold I ran to grab hold of a ticket.

I read the tiny black words on the paper and realized, without a doubt, Flight 77 would have been my route.

it would have been my way of coming home from visiting a friend,

my life’s inescapable end

Head in my hands, I thanked God for changing my plans.

Since then, I have spent each 9/11 anniversary wallowing in disillusion and confusion.

 But this year, I’ve arrived at a new conclusion.

After ten years of internal debate I’ve determined to stop looking at it as a great act of hate.

This year I’m not looking at the darkness. I’m focusing on the Light.

This year I’m not going to think about what people did wrong. I’m going to praise those who did right.

This year is all about how LOVE WON.

In the midst of pure, suffocating evil, LOVE WON.

Evil turned ordinary men into blind, hateful terrorists.
LOVE turned ordinary people into bold, brave, life-saving heroes.

Evil brought the victims rushing down cramped flights of stairs.
LOVE drove rescue workers up them.

Evil tore families apart.
LOVE surrounded those families with an entire nation willing to mend broken hearts.

Evil turned beams of steel into a tomb.
LOVE formed those broken beams into the shape of a cross
where grace derived from loss
pointing to the proof,
the undeniable truth
that in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.
that neither death nor life,
angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
height nor depth,
or any powers in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
So instead of letting this be a tragic anniversary,
I choose to see it as a decade of victory,
reminding me that because of the sacrifice of His son