Tag Archives: terror

Let’s Honor September 11th

10 Sep

I’ve officiated quite a few funerals in the 13 years that I’ve been an ordained pastor.  Funerals are always for the people left behind, but they are usually representative of the wishes of the one who died.  Not once at a funeral have I heard someone say that their dad’s last wishes were for his kids to get the “corner office.”

 

Why?  Because the end of life brings the truth, “you can’t take it with you when you go” to the forefront of our minds.  So, on this eve of the 14th anniversary of 9-11, I’m thinking about what the 2,977 victims (no, I’m not including the hijackers, as they were NOT victims of anything) would tell us today.  I’m certain they’d say:

 

Come together.  Those will be your best days.

Don’t be Democrats or Republicans.  Be American citizens.

There is no black or white.  There is just humanity.

Don’t waste time hating.  God is love.

Don’t ever forget that you have an enemy.

Always know that God is bigger than the enemy.

Hate shouts, but love endures.  Love well.

Hug your kids and kiss your spouse.

A country divided against itself cannot stand.  Unite no matter what.

Black lives matter.  And white lives matter.  And Asian lives matter.

Be kind.  You never know what kind of day the other person is having.

Be wise.  Not everyone is FOR you.

Be gentle.  You’ll be vulnerable one day, too.

Prioritize well.  Years are short, even though days are long.

Don’t wish your life away.  Today is all that’s guaranteed.

Come together.  All your days are numbered.

 

Let’s honor the victims of 9-11 by living with awareness of what matters, today.

You are all forever etched on our hearts.

 

 

 

 

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Boston: What can we say?

15 Apr

Events are still unfolding, but it appears as though we’ve had another terror attack on US soil. At least two bombs were detonated and several people were killed, and countless others were horribly wounded.

When tragedy strikes, we want answers. We want justice. We want to make it better. And we want to package it neatly so that we can understand it and tuck it neatly away. When tragedy strikes, we default to sweeping statements and to soaring rhetoric.

But there’s a problem…it isn’t helpful. As a matter of fact, it can be devastating to victims of tragedies, and it can unfairly place innocent people in the path of a blood-thirsty society that is eager to make someone pay…even if that person is innocent.

So, what can we say? What is really helpful in situations like these?

Very little, actually. Victims don’t benefit by hearing your version of why God allowed this to happen. I’ve never met one person who was comforted by the phrase: “I guess God needed them for a big job in Heaven.” Actually, I’d challenge you to NOT speak much at all. You can’t make it better. You won’t eliminate anyone’s pain with your slick words. And the more you talk, the more you minimize another’s pain.

When you talk or tweet about this tonight, remember this advice: FEW words. MORE action. HEARTFELT prayer. MUCH love.

Peace,

Neil