Today is 9/11.
I know this not only from the date on the bottom right of my screen, but also because of my facebook feed. The steady flow of memes and pictures declaring the truth of it fills page scroll after page scroll. The “Never Forget” ‘s and the “We Remember” ‘s along with the stories and also the ones that cry out in vengeance; these memes, pictures, sentiments, and battle cries have been filling my stream for a few days now. This 9/11 it all feels a little too raw to me. As we draw lines in the sand with Syria and I see hatred brewing on every side and angle, combined with the Million Muslim March and the bikers traveling to D.C.
The monsters that loom in the shadows feel like they are closing in all around us and our world. I see them hiding in the messages that say because of 9/11 we will never care about the Muslim people.
As if the actions of some negate the worth of all. And I bristle.
I bristle because my own heart wants to raise its fist with them and join the battle cry of the wronged yet also wrong. I want to lump a whole people into an action and I bristle because the monsters are breathing down my neck. The monsters that tell me Hate deserves Hate in return; the one that says love and forgiveness have no place here; the one that tells me my soul, land, and people are more important than theirs.
So I breathe out the lies and I shoo away the monsters as I push that fist back down until its hand opens wide, because I have not been made the judge and jury over this fight and that vengeance is not mine to give.
I know that the actions were unspeakable, the stories horrible, I am not diminishing the crime. I am deliberately choosing not to fan the flames of hatred and to throw the next punch in a war that only divides our souls.
There is too much at stake here for me to raise my fist and join a war that can only be won on knees.
So I am choosing to see the many as individuals, souls clothed in flesh the same as me, and not as worth stealing actions.
I have friends of all religions on my newsfeed and of all walks of life. I don’t want to give them the message that they have no worth because of what someone else has done, or because I disagree with their position.
When I was in high school a boy turned to me and told me that I should put everyone else out of their misery and kill myself. I can only assume it is because I didn’t fit into his notion of what society should be like, look like, and act like.
Those words stung. They still sting. It is the sting of them though that helps me to push that fist back down and to cause my knees to bend low, because I don’t want to be the voice of the monster that whispers the lies to another, the lie that actions negate worth.
I am not perfect. I have raised my hearts fist on many an occasion, but today, today I chose to love.