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Saturday, September 10, 2011

I See You-A commentary on 9/11

I once read a story about the last days of the Comanche nation.  It was a sweeping narrative about their lives as free people and their fight to stay free in spite of the atrocities committed by the United States military.  Needless to say, they lost their land and their way of life. It was also a story about their cultural norms and how they built and maintained their community.

One of their cultural norms that I admired was the way they greeted one another. When they passed by another person, they looked each other in the eye and said "I see you".  When I read this, I thought it was a wonderful acknowledgement of another's humanity.  To note someone else's existence not because they have something to offer you or you want something from them.  To simply see and greet someone in a spirit of mutuality.

Some say the opposite of love is not hate, it's apathy.  The total dismissal of another human being is the worst kind of apathy, I think.

As the world reflects on the 10th anniversay of events of 9/11, I hope that we can commit to a world where we can truly work to see one another as equally made in God's image. I pray that I will never pass by another human being without seeing them and letting them know they are not invisible, not to me.  They are worthy to be greeted simply because they exist.

Some say it's time to move on from that day. For others, there is still a need to grieve and be seen. If you ever get a chance to go to New York City, please go by St. Paul's Chapel at Ground Zero To look at the notes that people posted as they searched for their loved ones, to see the total exhaustion of the people looking for survivors, to see the shock in their faces as they are still 

Even ten years later, this is a fresh wound for many.  Added to it is the fear that Muslims experience who had nothing to do with the those who committed this crime. Yet they are still seen as one of the criminals.

Learning to see God in another's face is a small step in righting the wrongs in this world.  But it is a step.

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