It’s Friday. I’m worn out. But tomorrow is September 11, and I promised I’d do a post.

September 11 is the anniversary of a horrific event. I don’t generally take special notice of the date. I don’t have a loved one to remember, and it doesn’t rouse any feelings of patriotism in me.

I am still sad about it. Sad that so many people died. Sad that other people could hate our country so much. And sad that over the years, many people have used this event to justify hating and even killing others.

I’m sad because I believe wholeheartedly that this is not the way to live.

I’m a follower of Jesus, and Jesus is very clear on this.

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

“But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

“But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

(all quotes from Matthew 5, New International Version)

So I’m sad when others who claim the name of Christ instead follow the way of hate, fear and anger. I believe there is another way: the Way of Love. And I believe that there is an abundance of love among God’s people; enough to overcome the fear and hatred!

For example:

Carl Medearis practices the Way of Love by meeting with and befriending leaders of Hezbollah, an Islamist group regarded by the U.S. as a terrorist organization.

Christian Peacemaker Teams have been living and working in Iraq since before the U.S.-led invasion. They are currently working with displaced people in the Kurdish region.

Christian Peacemakers also live and work in Israel/Palestine, walking Palestinian children safely to school, monitoring treatment of Palestinians at security checkpoints, replanting olive groves, and more.

Also:

People responded so strongly to the gas explosion and fire in San Bruno, California last night that within 24 hours enough food, clothing and supplies had been donated. They didn’t need any more. No, I have no idea how many of the donors were Christians! Does it matter? I think it still counts.

And there are many others, Christian and non-Christian, who practice this Way of Love.

However, we all fall short, too. I do it all the time. I become angry, snap at others, and often feel justified in my anger. I mean, it’s OK to be angry with people want to burn the Q’uran, or who hate on cyclists, or who are otherwise small-minded, right?

Oops. That’s not the Way of Love, either. But God’s grace lets us start over and try again, whether our transgressions are big or small. Which means two things: that I get a second chance, and that I have to be willing to give others a second chance. That I have to love them.

This post is part of a 9/11 Campaign of Goodwill organized by author Sarah Cunningham. If you’d like to take part, write a blog post, tweet, or Facebook status communicating your own message of goodwill.

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