Daily Prayer Reflection: Do We See Ourselves as One in Christ?

The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth. Isaiah 25:8

On this day eight years ago, we - a new generation of Americans - experienced a tragedy that we'd only heard equaled in our history books. For the first time in our lives, American soil had been attacked in grand scale. The fear, the sorrow, the disbelief - it was all overwhelming for some. Even in challenge, the spirit of the nation moved toward compassion and unity, if only for a moment. And then...we turned to revenge. The dark side of trauma came to light - the anger, the suspicion, and blatant racism returned.

Those are choices we face every day. In the midst of trying times, our weaknesses gain a little strength. It is up to us to continue to call upon the Lord to give us strength, to dry our tears, so that we may choose always to live in the light of compassion and mercy, guided by the Holy Spirit and not by the powers of darkness that reside in anger and vengeance.

Eight years later, we've moved on a little, especially if we feel we weren't personally affected. But then, can any of us truly claim that? How many of us know someone who lost someone, or someone who was safe but there? How many of us know someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, or someone who was lost there? In a bout of myopic self-centeredness, we might say "I am unaffected." We, however, belong to a greater body than our own - we belong to the body of Christ. In each others' misery, we are always affected...if we choose to acknowledge it.

Today, regardless of what side of the political spectrum we inhabit, let us once again put aside our own opinions and assurances. Let us pray instead for all those who lost their lives in that tragic day and in the years that followed, those who still mourn loved ones, those who are serving their country in the military and their loved ones...let us pray that we may see ourselves connected as one in Christ.

And perhaps even more difficult, let's remember to also pray for those who committed these atrocities and continue to use violence in the name of God.