Monday, September 11, 2006

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14.34).

It was a beautiful, cloudless morning. I had taken our three year-old daughter to her preschool and was on my way to the office when I turned on 103.7 the Buzz sports radio out of Little Rock.

What I heard wasn't the usual voices recapping the previous Saturday's Razorback game. What I heard was CNN.

I tuned to another channel. Same result.

What is going on?

I called Mandy and told her to turn on the television because something strange was happening on the radio. And I remember the horror she conveyed to me.

I rushed home to watch in shock, along with my fellow Americans, the felling of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. I remember the gapping hole in the Pentagon building. I remember the first sights from Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

I also remember Nancy Bonewitz coming to the building that morning asking if she could go into the "sanctuary" to pray. I remember the spontaneously called Prayer Assembly that night at the Village church building. I remember vividly the prayer of Lee Sosebee.

And I remember the way that the tragedy turned the focus and thoughts of a nation back to God. "God Bless America" became more than a motto in the aftermath of 9/11, it became the marching orders of a nation struck by the fact that life never would be the same again.

Today marks five years since that infamous day -- a day that ripped us all with the reality that life in the U.S. would never be the same. The terror we'd seen on the news overseas had crossed those seas and reached our own land.

And now it is five years later. Are we as a nation any different today? Have the effects of 9/11 that caused so many Americans to turn again to God for answers given way to a familiarity that has numbed our national faith?