May Love Be Our Response

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

I’ve been weeping a lot as of late—for tragic events that have happened recently and for the ones that happened twenty years ago during the 9/11 attacks. One story that has especially left me bawling this weekend has been a transcript circulating social media between Todd Beamer of flight 93 and Lisa Jefferson, a telephone supervisor with GTE (found here:

I am unable to confirm the veracity of this transcript. Nonetheless, it beautifully captures the essence of the last moments of flight 93 and the courage that a group of people displayed by their determination to unravel the plans of the terrorists. The transcript ends with Todd Beamer’s famous last words of that call: “Let’s roll!”

The older I get, the more his actions and those of the other brave people among that flight move me. The truth is, as Americans, we are indebted to this small group of people in many ways.

Had they not risen up against these jihadists, it is most probable that many of our country’s leaders would have perished in the horrid events of that day. Our country would have been more vulnerable and less secure than it already was in the days that followed. This, in turn, would have left our country vulnerable to further attack in the days to come. Who knows what might have happened to our nation? Who knows if perhaps other terrorist attacks were deterred because of the failure of the hijackers’ mission for flight 93?

Todd Beamer and the other brave men and women that chose to stand up against the terrorists on flight 93 did not choose to be heroes that day. They merely chose to go about their everyday lives, which involved a flight on United 93 that morning.

Nonetheless, when they were faced with an unwanted yet unavoidable, grave situation, they decided to rise up. They chose courage. They decided to fight against evil. And they ultimately sacrificed their own lives for the good of their country, so that we might continue to enjoy the freedom that we have always known.

I am so thankful for their lives and their example.

Let’s not forget them. Let’s strive to be more like them.

We may never be called to give up our lives selflessly for others in the way that they did that day, but we can live selflessly for others every day. We can sacrifice in simple ways for the good of others. We can love like Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Let’s ask God to help us do so. Let’s ask Him to unify our country through His love expressed through us as believers. And let’s pray most of all for those within our country that are most easy to see as our enemies, that God would be at work in their lives and ours.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

And finally,

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

1 Corinthians 6:13-14 ESV

How Love Can Move You

Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

A few weeks ago, I was looking through some old documents and found an excerpt from the summer in which I met JJ. Although we had just met, we knew that we were mutually interested in each other and were getting to know each other better as a result. As I pondered what the future might hold, I wrote the following words:

Lately I find myself thinking about relationships more. I would like to be in one, and I ask myself quite a bit nowadays what I would be willing to do for a relationship. Would I be willing to move to another country (or even another state, for that matter) for a relationship? Would I be willing to switch gears and leave a ministry position or move into a different ministry position in order to be in a relationship?

A lot of times, it is hard to think about doing any of those things if I didn’t have thoughts of moving to those places or doing those new things in the first place. But I keep coming back to the same conclusion—I would be willing to do a lot of things to be with the man I loved, and knowing he loved me would inspire me to be daring and try new things.

Thinking of this makes me think of my relationship with Jesus. It makes me wonder how much I love Him. He has called me to go to new places with Him, and I have been willing to go. He has also called me to some new job positions, and so far, I have been willing to accept those positions. However, will I always feel this way? Do I feel this way even now? I recognize my need to ask Him to cause my love for Him to grow and to be sustained. I also recognize my need to remember how great His love is for me. When I am confident of His love for me and love Him in return, I am willing to do so much more than I ever dreamed possible, and I know that is exactly where I need to be.

It seems appropriate to have found this entry recently. JJ and I are once again waiting to hear about a job he applied for earlier this summer. We should know no later than the first week of August.  If he gets it, that will mean a move to the Northeast.

I was originally excited about the possibility. I am one of those odd people that likes to move. I like packing, cleaning, the actual move to the new place, and the unpacking that follows. I guess the whole ordeal gives me a huge sense of accomplishment in the end.

My excitement has been waning as of late, however. JJ mentioned how much it will snow there in passing last night. It’s something I knew, and I’m used to the snow since I grew up in Colorado. Nonetheless, I have lived in warmer climates for over a decade now, and I’m not too fond of the idea of cold, snowy days. Also, Liam has been waking up early for more than a week now (before 6 a.m.), and the lack of sleep I have been getting because of it makes a move feel overwhelming.

There are, of course, some general concerns regarding COVID-19 as well. The pandemic would definitely complicate a move, and it would be hard not to get to hug my friends goodbye.

I’m still willing, however. I love JJ, and wherever he goes is where I want to be. I also know that JJ loves Liam and me and only considers job positions in places where he believes our family could thrive. I am very thankful for that.

Even so, I believe it is God’s love that should thrust us toward a possible new place to call home—not our own for each other.

Our own ideas and knowledge are limited, after all. As much as we have researched about the Northeast and the new job that JJ would have, we don’t know everything about this position or place. We won’t truly know if this will be a good fit for our family unless or until we go.

God knows, however. And He knows if this is what He has in store for us. He has known all along. If we go, it will be because He moves us there and has lovingly determined these next steps for us.

That’s not to say that we won’t have struggles. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that we will think the Northeast is a good fit for us if we go. But if this is where God guides us, we can trust Him in it because He loves us, and we can have faith that He will open our eyes to see His goodness in it, no matter how differently we may have thought life would be.

Although most people probably can’t relate to the idea of a possible physical move right now, I believe that God would like to move all of us in unexpected ways this year (and He probably already has in many ways).

How does He want to move you at this time? Perhaps He wants to lead you to volunteer at a food bank in the midst of the economic hardship so many have encountered this year. Or perhaps He is moving you to donate blood. Maybe you sense Him directing you to talk to your neighbors as you pass them on your daily walk or He is challenging you to call your friends or family that have yet to begin a personal relationship with Him.

The things God is calling us to do may be challenging. We may struggle in the midst of trying to obey Him. But let us pray that God would cause our love for Him to grow and that we would understand His love for us more fully. When we are confident of His love for us and love Him in return, we will be willing to do so much more than we ever dreamed possible, and that, my friend, is exactly where we need to be.