Twenty years ago today, Jan and I watched along with the rest of our nation the horror of 9/11 unfolding on our television screen. The terrorist attack was one of the most successful military operations in history conducted by a band of terrorists against the most powerful nation on Earth with the strongest systems of security and defense in place. We were all stunned.
One significant takeaway from that sad day was witnessing the sacrifice of the first responders who ran toward danger not knowing it would be their last day of life. Those with such a calling knew that danger was possible, yet they still ran toward the developing disaster.
There are also first responders in the life of faith. These are the individuals who run toward the source of unfolding spiritual disaster while others stand stunned in confusion or simply run away from spiritual confrontation. In the coming months and years, we will witness these spiritual first responders confronting and engaging those things that bring death, not life, to individuals and cultures. They will not wear a police or fire uniform. They will wear a badge of unwavering faith expressed in sacrificial love.
I am praying on this day of remembrance that each of us would become first responders in faith. To do this we need the voice of the Lord to guide us through the dust and debris of devastated lives and collapsing societal systems to save those held captive by the attacks of the enemy. Sometimes we will have no word from the Lord, only the sound of someone crying out for help.
Today is one of somber remembrance. It is also a day of reaffirming our commitment to save those in jeopardy, no matter who they are or what they believe.
“For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all” (John 15:13).