This is a different September 11th. As we honor this 16th anniversary, our country is facing a different tragedy. We're seeing the devastating fires out west, hurricanes destroying small islands and parts of our country in Texas and Florida. Houses are gone. Entire communities, gone. Some have even lost loved ones.
There's one thing I saw and felt as Hurricane Harvey stalled over the greater Houston area, and I'm now seeing as Hurricane Irma makes her way up Florida. It's the same thing I saw and felt on September 11th: unity and the desire to help our neighbor. Are you seeing it and feeling it, too? Our country, if for but a brief time, is coming together like we did sixteen years ago, to pray, support, and give to help our fellow Americans as they recover.
Unity is a good feeling, isn't it? In unity, color doesn't matter. In unity, race doesn't matter. In unity, love for one another is present. In unity, compassion is a motivating force. Sadly, tragedy unites us in a way that only tragedy can. We're all experiencing the same thing and it's making us empathetic towards one another. It shouldn't take a tragedy to unite people, to make us see the needs of a community and want to help. But it does. And when it does, we can see for ourselves a beautiful picture of what life could be like and will eventually be like when Christ returns. For those of us who know and love Jesus, in the times when we're not as united, let's remember to "always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace," Ephesians 4:2-3.