Thoughts leading up to September 11th anniversary #2

There are so many 9-11 stories that are heartbreaking. The day forces us to reflect on evil. Yet, there are so many stories that give me hope in the middle of all of the darkness. One of the stories that has always inspired me is the stories of those who stayed to help when they could have run for their lives. Most people were satisfied with escaping the day alive. But some were determined to take as many people to safety as possible.
Frank De Martini work on the 88th floor of WTC 1 on September 11th 2001. De Martini along with several co-workers found the route of escape for their co-workers and sent them down. Instead of heading down himself, and armed with only a flashlight and a crowbar, De Martini and 3 other men climbed to the 89th and 90th floors and freed people there. Then they traveled to the 86th and 78th floors freeing people who were trapped. The book 102 Minutes give a fitting tribute to the courage De Martini showed that day: “On the morning of September 11th 2001, they tore open walls with crowbars and shined flashlights and pried apart elevator doors on the 90th, 89th, 88th, 86th, and 78th floors, saving the lives of at least seventy people in the north tower. When they were last heard from, they were on their way to try to free more…”
II Peter 1 tells us to add “goodness” to our faith. Goodness is the God given ability to perform heroic deeds, or someone who stood out as excellent. But it is not only that they stand out because of what they did, but that they stood out because of who they are. Some of your Bibles may have the word “goodness” or “moral excellence” or “virtue” to describe the idea. And no matter what word is there – the concept is the one who stands out because of the quality of their character.
I think far too often we think thoughts of safety and protection. We do not think about courageous, honorable acts that will add to our faith a new dimension of life to our Christian experience. I think far too often we focus on why we do not do certain things rather than why we ought to do them. Some people on 9-11 remind us we ought to think differently.


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