September 11, 2008 passed here in Western Pennsylvania as a beautiful day, though the skies were not as bright blue as that day in 2001. Like many Americans, that day still effects me profoundly.
When I am upset, I pray. I started the morning with the prayers posted on the Ohio Anglican Site (Thanks Again Brother!) and went to work. My off farm work sent me on a journey though the countryside about 80 miles away. Being Restless all day, I stopped on my return journey in the town of Kitanning in the hope that The town's conservative Episcopal church would be open. Nobody was there, but the door was thankfully open. Reading the psalter out of my prayer book and saying some of the funeral prayers in such a beautiful Anglican church was a great blessing to me. I left feeling not exactly refreshed, but comforted.
Some years ago, I heard a talk on 9/11 by my favorite Eastern Orthodox Theologian, Father Thomas Hopko. Father Thomas is very Cross-focused. I still remember a few things from this talk:
1. We cannot allow terrorists to fly airplanes into buildings and hurt innocent people. We must fight to stop this in any way we can.
2. At that same time, we must recognize the evil in ourselves--including that of our nation. A country that aborts so many of its own babies cannot simply call itself good, and the terrorists as evil. (while not part of the talk, I was reminded of a quote by Peter Kreeft from long before 9/11, "If God spares New York City, he owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah")
3. Everything comes from God. God calls some of the wicked kings in the Bible "his servants"
4. EVERY DEATH is a tragedy, but for Christians, the ultimate manifestation of God's Love is a dead Jew on a cross.
As a Christian, I still grieve for every one of those innocent people, young and old, rich and poor, men and women, who were killed going about their daily business. As an American, I want the terrorists and those who supported them brought to justice for their murder. However, I also want us to become a better people. My grief is reserved for the lives lost. As an agrarian, I think the Towers as buildings were vanity and monuments to Mammon. I think we were a better Country when the tallest buildings in every town were church steeples.