The Love Story That Emerged From September 11 – A Love Story About Reaching Your God Given Potential

A love story emerged from September 11 2001. The love story from the September 11 attack is worth re-telling because it exemplifies the level of Love that is possible in our relationships. It’s a love story about what it means to be lost in love; a Love greater than any other because of the impact it makes when it’s given…and long afterward when the love story is re-told, such as in this article.

This Love was first seen on September 11 2001 on Flight 93, which crashed in the Pennsylvania field when those courageous passengers were willing to foil the terrorist’s plans and die…in order to save others. The Love in action during that incident is the Love that Christ referred to when he said, “There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life, to give one’s life for one’s friends.”

This Love is so great because it’s a Love far beyond what our humanness alone can deliver. It’s a Love that doesn’t come from us, but rather comes through us, bypassing our conditional logic and expressed as unconditional and selfless. It is the Love of God.

During the attacks, we saw this selfless love over and over. George Howard, a policeman who had the day off when the terrorists struck, rushed out of his house to the World Trade Center. While helping those in need, he was killed by falling debris. There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life to save another’s life.

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This level of Love was seen in many office workers, including an older man who’s dear friend was a paraplegic in a wheelchair. When his disabled friend told him to get out, he refused to go. Instead, he helped his friend place a phone call to his wife and then made his own call. After reaching his nephew, who asked why he wasn’t trying to escape the burning building, he said he couldn’t risk letting his friend die alone. Moments later, they died together when the tower collapsed. Neither of them died alone. There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Then there’s the love story of the Reverend Mychal Judge, the beloved chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, who also responded to the call. While giving Last Rites to a fallen firefighter, Father Mike was struck and killed. His body was carried from the rubble by a group of firefighters, who gently laid his body at the altar of a nearby church. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends.

Every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to be part of God’s love story by loving others in selfless service. A song by Ty Herndon contains lyrics that speak to the power of this kind of Love.

Tell me something, who could ask for more

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Than to be living in a moment…Loving every minute.

Tell me something, who could ask for more

Than to be living in a moment you would die for.

God’s unconditional Love flowing through us, has the power to create that kind of moment; a moment so purposeful, meaningful, and selfless that ego disappears, and with it – any concern about dying. That’s being lost in love…and living at your God-given potential.

Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” Our ability to choose is a gift from God. Using it to lovingly serve others is our gift to God. Loving that way in our daily living, is the supreme work we have in this life.

A cartoon in a newspaper after the terrorist attacks showed firefighters flying up the stairs of the World Trade Center, forgetting themselves to find and help people in need. The last picture showed firemen standing on clouds at the gates of heaven. They were wearing their rescue uniforms, with halos above their helmets, reporting into their walkie-talkies, “We’ve reached the top.”

At the end of our lives, I hope God is smiling at how we — like those firefighters — loved so fully and selflessly and reached the top of our God-given potential.

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by Bill Dyer