IS THIS NORMAL?
Four thousand gathered
for mid-day prayer in a downtown cathedral. A New York City temple, filled
and emptied six times last Tuesday. The owner of a Manhattan tennis shoe
store threw open his doors and gave running shoes to those fleeing the
towers. People stood in lines to give blood, in hospitals to treat the
sick, in sanctuaries to pray for the wounded. America was different
this week. We wept for people we did not know. We sent money to families
we've never seen. Talk-show hosts read Scriptures, journalists printed
prayers. Our focus shifted from fashion hemlines and box scores to orphans
and widows and the future of the
world. We were different
Republicans stood next
to Democrats. Catholics prayed with Jews. Skin color was covered by the
ash of burning towers. This is
a different country
than it was a week ago. We're not as self-centered as we were.
We're not as self-reliant
as we were. Hands are out. Knees are bent.
This is not normal.
And I have to ask the
question, "Do we want to go back to normal?" Are we being given a glimpse
of a new way of life? Are we, as a nation, being reminded that the enemy
is not each other and the power is not in ourselves and the future is not
in our bank accounts? Could this unselfish prayerfulness be the way God
intended for us to live all along? Maybe this, in his eyes, is the way
we are called to live. And perhaps the best response to this tragedy is
to refuse to go back to normal. Perhaps the best response is to follow
the example of Tom Burnet. He was a passenger of flight 93.
Minutes before the plane
crashed in the fields of Pennsylvania he reached is wife by cell phone.
"We're all going to die," he told her,
"but there are three
of us who are going to do something about it." We can do something about
it as well. We can resolve to care more. We can resolve to pray more.
And we can resolve that,
God being our
helper, we'll never
go back to normal again.
~ Max Lucado