“For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.” — Acts 6:38b
Today, thousands of images all over the Internet and television will re-tell the story of September 11, 2001. Most of those images will show the gruesome reminder of what the terrorists accomplished: explosions, the twin towers collapse, pain, torment, death.
A similar story occurred long ago, a plot to destroy not only a man but an entire faith. We see images of Jesus hanging dead on a cross, his body beaten, bloodied and scarred. No doubt those pictures re-tell the agony of an innocent man.
But there is another image, one that stands above churches all over the world, hangs around people’s necks, adorns ears, covers books, and displays on countless other objects: the empty cross. The empty cross reminds us not only of victory, but failure: the failure of those who tried to destroy love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The empty site of New York’s ground zero should remind us of the same: the failure of those who tried to destroy freedom, hope, unity, respect, dignity, inspiration, patriotism, democracy and equal-opportunity. Through the unjust deaths of innocent people–heroes in my mind–our values and persistence are only stronger.
Let us remember the failure of those who opposed what we hold dear, and let us remember the victory of the innocent heroes who gave us strength and unity as a people.