I remember 9/11. It was a Monday and I had just flown from Denver to Minnesota. My mom lay dying in a hospital bed and this would be the last time I would see her in this world. I got to spend several hours with her and tell her I loved her. She answered me with a soft, “I love you, too.” I read some Bible passages to her and my dad and I waited together. Soon, that afternoon, she was gone.
Grief is a special pain. When a relationship ends, we wonder what our lives will be like without that person. Who will we call for a word of encouragement? Who will accept us when we do stupid things? Who will enjoy answering the phone when we call? The loss of a loved one shakes us to our identities.
Yes, I remember the day, a year later, when some crazies flew plans into buildings and killed so many people. That was the morning I called my dad to see how he was doing on the anniversary of mom’s death. We talked about the crazies and the terror. We mostly talked about mom.
Relationship makes a difference. I grieve for our nation in the changes that have happened since the attack of the WTC. I honor the memory of the public servants who gave their lives in an amazing presentation of bravery. I stand with those who lost loved ones that day. But 9/11/2001 doesn’t mean to me what it means to them.
Yes, I believe that the loss of 3000 people on that day affected my life. I believe that we are far more connected than any of us understand, and the loss of one does diminish all. 9/11/2001 should be remembered in history. But 9/11/2000 affected me much more.
Sometimes I talk with people about their relationship with Jesus. They look at me and respond as though they have no idea what I mean. Jesus is a name to them. He is important for what He did for them and they honor Him. They place their trust in Him and accept His forgiveness. But they don’t walk with Him in loving relationship. They pray to Him, but they don’t talk with Him. I try to help them understand that Jesus is real and alive and He loves them right now and right where they are. They can live in His presence.
Relationship makes a difference. If you don’t understand what I mean about a relationship with Jesus, write me a note. Give me a chance to explain or try to answer your questions. My prayer is that you will learn, as I have, that it is one thing to believe in the message of the gospel and quite another to live in relationship with the One who loves you so much.