The planes are flying again. Even as I write this, I can hear the turbine rumble of a commercial jet soaring over my Chicago suburb. Slowly things are getting back to normal. But we all know they will never be normal in quite the same way. The very nature of "normal" has changed in America. The normal procedure for checking in at the airport now promises to be a lot more complicated. The normal routine of kissing your spouse and children goodbye in the morning suddenly becomes more necessary. The normal New York City skyline now has a hole in its heart.

And so do we.

As the dual towers fell, our collective soul collapsed with them. As one-fifth of the Pentagon burned, so did our rage. We had never seen anything like it before, not in real life anyway. Our voyeuristic captivation with the TV images gradually gave way to the awful realization that, unlike the computerized effects in a Jerry Bruckheimer action flick, those buildings and airplanes held living people—living people whose last moments were recorded before our very eyes.

Then we witnessed the footage of Middle Eastern exultation. We saw men and women cheering and praising Allah for our misfortune. We saw the Associated Press photo of the young Palestinian boy, dressed in a Spider-Man T-shirt, firing a rifle into the air in anti-American celebration. We saw the enemy, and they were Muslim.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueOur May Issue: Social Science and Spiritual Formation
Our May Issue: Social Science and Spiritual Formation
Can research about the fruit of the spirit make you a better Christian?
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickWe Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival
We Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival
Attempts to teach a ‘better’ understanding of the Trinity may do more harm than good.
Christianity Today
Taking It Personally
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.