Ten Years Later

I wondered about my grace tonight and how far it stretches. My faith was poked and prodded a little tonight. I listened to a lecture by Dr. Miroslav Volf about what our conversation should be ten years after 9/11. With yesterday being the ten year anniversary, instead of posting lyrics about how blessed I am as an American or pictures of American flags, I am going to talk a little about the impact of 9/11. I’m going to ask more questions probably than answer anything, but, like I said, my faith was poked a little, so I am still soaking in that tonight.

Is my grace big enough to cover the terrorists? What happened to the twin towers? We all make our soup with water. Our (Christians/Muslims, American/Muslim) differences lead to debates, but my grace is big enough for that. I think. I hope. Constantinople fell and we fall, too. We’re still picking up the pieces, even ten years later. But we can’t pick up anything until we lay our weapons down. America may have Christian roots, but it could be debatable whether or not we are really a Christian nation. We are a melting pot of multi-generations, multi-cultures, multi-religions, multi-races. So, in this tension, how can we all live under the same roof? As a Christian, I believe very strongly that I am called to love my neighbor.

To be human is to be breakable, but we seek security. Everything about our seatbelts and our safety helmets screams for security. Safety isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, we are living longer, right? But we cannot put ourselves in bubbles. We want security so badly, but what would happen to our souls if we really succeed? I don’t know how “safe” Christianity is. I remember once asking my mom what would happen if I felt called to prison ministry. Her response? “Andra, I know you would never be called to prison ministry because God loves me.” My mom worries about me (as does every mother, really). However, I think Christianity is not always safe. It doesn’t offer the security that our post 9/11 generation longs for. Yet, I’m called to Christianity. I’m not called a life wrapped in a security blanket. Now I’m not talking about doing anything reckless and stupid, but I am saying that Christ is calling us to more than just our American Dream box of safety deposits and security locks. “God is my refuge.” What does that mean after 9/11? Jesus says, “Fear not.” But what does that mean now? What did it mean then? And what does it mean ten years from now?

Ultimately, we need to ask ourselves: how are we supposed to react? With crusades? Or with conversation? Maybe we should respond and not just react. We live in this world where nobody cares if we use Crest or Colgate as long as we don’t hurt anyone, but Christ lived a life that was greater than that. And I seek a life that grows in Christlikeness. How can we rediscover that we belong to a worldwide community of believers? How can we live in the tension that there are people of all kinds of faith backgrounds that live with us, breath the same air, walk the same streets? I believe in having friendships for more than just conversion, I believe in having friendships for conversation. Conversation doesn’t always lead to reconciliation and I need to be alright with that. But conversation should lead to understanding. Maybe that means we end up standing in the balance and living in the tension, but we shouldn’t shy away from talking about tough issues. I’m finding that it is strengthening my faith more than anything. So, yeah, there’s some fear, but there’s life. Life more abundant and free.

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