Pastor’s Pen: Loving after 9/11
Ten years ago the most horrific act of terrorism our country has ever witnessed took place in New York City.
I took time to look at video from that day. I was overwhelmed by sorrow, loss and anger; not only at those who flew the planes, but all those of that same nation.
Yet, God wants me to love them. That’s much easier to say than do.
It’s easy to say, “Love them no matter what.” or “Desire for them to come to Christ and be in heaven.” But that desire can be lost completely if that person is the one or a reminder of the one that attacked you – perhaps not with a plane; but with words, ruined reputations, undeserved abuse, or harm to family and friends.
I am reminded of 2 Peter 3:9. It reads, “He (the Lord) is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
“God, do you know what my father did?” Yes. “God, see how they judge me and won’t let me get ahead?” Yes. “God, don’t you know how they flew those planes and destroyed the lives of so many?” Yes.
Jonah knew those feelings. He lived during a time when Nineveh was the capital of one of the cruelest empires in the world. They bragged about mutilating the bodies of live captives and hanging their skins on the wall. It was repulsive, yet God sent Jonah there to preach against the city. Jonah knew full well that meant God was going to forgive them if they would repent. He wanted nothing to do with it. They were his enemies and he had no desire to help them come to salvation.
Oh, how I do the same.
I claim to love as God loves, but have no desire to see certain people in heaven or at least have nothing to do with them getting there. How wrong. As we remember those who died ten years ago, let us not focus so much on the ones who took their lives that we neglect to love everyone Christ died to save.