Friday, September 11, 2009

In the Name of Who?

People have been doing and saying things in the name of God since the moment people had a name for God. The well known acts in the name of God tend to be destructive and violent - wars, genocide, abuse, etc. The lesser known but I believe more numerous are acts of love, service and mercy.
Today - 9/11 has become a day we remember one of the more public acts of our time. Even though it began with unthinkable violence, it ended with tremendous acts of sacrifice, courage and mercy. Which acts were really done in the name of God?
I know people who are Muslim, who are good and kind and follow the same kind of creed I try to follow as a Christian. I have heard them say that no true Muslim could have flown those planes into the buildings. I agree, just as I think no true Christian could have followed Hitler, or killed civil rights workers, or tortured prisoners. How many gods do we think will justify us?
There were so many who died on this day 8 years ago, most of them not knowing they would. I do believe they were all greeted by the same God. I believe that God loves all of them, and wept for those whose hatred motivated such violence. I can't imagine the mercy that was extended to all that day. I don't want to try, because that would set limits on it. I don't want there to be a limit on God's mercy, because I need it. How can I hope for it, yet think it should not extend to others?
It is a day of difficult thoughts and questions. I am glad it is now a national day of service. No matter what we claim to do in God's name, the only things that bring us closer to God are acts of love, service, atonement.
My friend had a baby today. Some might see this as a tough birthday to have. But more and more it is a day to remember the countless acts of love on that day. We might not always see it in the headlines, but this is a good world to bring new life into. So many opportunities to learn love, mercy, forgiveness. To learn to be like God. Happy Birthday Little One.

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