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

Crowning the Year with Goodness

It has been a tradition of mine for many years now to write a list of the best of the year. It generally includes new or deepened friendships, experiences, and events, among other things. There is no limit as to what I might write, although it is limited to the best of that specific year.

I’m not exactly sure when I started this tradition or why, but I’m thankful for whatever got me to do it in the first place. Ever since starting these lists each year, I have recognized how good each year has been.

Last year I started my list a little earlier than usual. With the promise of a busy Christmas season ahead of me and so many wonderful things to include on my list from that year already, I decided to begin my list during Thanksgiving weekend, adding any additional “bests” from December as the month went by. As it was, my “best” list was just really a list of all the things I had been thankful for that year.

This year I did the same, writing the chunk of my list over Thanksgiving weekend.

It has been a hard year for me in many ways, but it has been sweet to remember the special moments that have helped to make this year a little easier.  I’m beginning to see those precious moments as little oases in my year of wilderness. God doesn’t always take us out of hard situations, but He’s faithful to give us what we need to sustain us along the way. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes to see that He has been doing that all along. Tonight I’m very thankful for my “oases” and for how He crowns each year, especially the hard ones, with His goodness.