The Face of Evil

9-11

9-11The face of evil: who can ever forget it?

Formed in an instant, frozen in time, captured unknowingly in a wire photograph–one of millions taken that day–it spoke of an evil so profound the mind could little grasp it. An evil which transformed the world, from a place of peace to a furnace of fury; from a crisp September day to hell on earth; from a life where all was right with the world to a cauldron of discord and hatred.

September 11, 2001: the razor’s edge. Dividing an illusory tranquility from the stark reality of wickedness empowered, we learned, were we teachable at all, that simple things we took for granted–box cutters and backpacks, cell phones and chemicals, airplanes and atoms–could kill us on a scale unimagineable. We were no longer safe; our prosperty gave us not a secure haven, but was rather a weapon to be used against us by primitive demons frozen in a seventh-century death-cult, in ways far too horrid to even imagine.

The world we constructed–the Babel we lifted to heaven, created with sweat and savvy, hard work and hardware–proved but a house of cards, and crumbled to dust just as surely and disastrously as did the towers that brilliant fall morning. We know now the face of evil: we see it in the rugged faces of desert Beduins and the silk suits of cultured diplomats, in hooded beheaders and Hollywood elite. It is the face of the human heart, ripped open for inspection in all its ugliness and vile vanity, for all to see, if they will look.

And look we must, if we are ever to survive, or ever to triumph.

September 11th was an opportunity, a window which will close quickly, through which we may glimpse–horrid though we may find it–our very soul.

Let us not squander these moments. We may not have many more such opportunities.

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8 thoughts on “The Face of Evil

  1. How I wish we had maintained the unity that was formed, all too temporarily, that morning. How could so many have forgotten so quickly that evil that attacked so brutally?

  2. Striking remembrance- it hits me in the gut- right where it should. I think we should regularly review the events of 911 and think about what we can do presently to combat such evil and lack of regard for humanity.

    I watched United 93 on video recently, and as well-done as the movie was there was a strange neutrality to how it portrayed the events, to my thinking. The ringing of the Liberty Bell sounds within your post, and that is what I think we need to hear when looking back on this terrible event. The ringing of Liberty Bell’s reminder of where the roots of our freedoms are embedded, in a gracious gospel that declares men everywhere to be worthy of judgment and yet called to forgiveness, dignity, and purpose.

    Your photo essay within your post speaks even more eloquently -if possible. Well done.

  3. I missed this, this week. Being away from home can do that to my blog-reading. I had forgotten the face that appears in a couple of the pictures, all of which still bring tears to my eyes.

    I stand by my comment of last year and grieve again the loss of the unity we experienced so briefly, six years ago, just as I grieve the loss of the oh-so-temporary focus on our spiritual needs, as a nation.

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