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3946Re: A message from Ashley

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  • Ted Sherman
    Sep 17, 2001
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      Dear Khouria Terry (and others):

      Thank you for the message from Ashley.

      I want to apologize to all of you for passing along the editorial from the
      Miami Herald, which may have prompted some of the messages Father Stephen
      alluded to on Sunday (I was not there, but Karen told me about the homily).

      My family, of whom only my folks and Karen and I and the kids are Orthodox,
      have been discussing this whole event and how one ought to "respond."

      Here is what I just said to those closest to me; if any of you feel the need
      to reply, please do so privately. Meanwhile, please pray for me to be
      forgiving. I do have a colleague I know via email who taught at Pace
      University (situated in the WTC) and I have not heard from her at all.

      Here are my thoughts:
      I'm not yet ready to give my thoughts on this whole crisis because they are
      too jumbled. Yes, part of me does want vengeance--cold, cruel, bloodthirsty
      vengeance. But the better part of me doesn't. As I was reading Naomi's
      "Guardian Angel Prayerbook" to her tonight, the words of the Lord's Prayer
      really hit me.

      Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
      Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
      Give us this day our daily bread,
      and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
      And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

      We pray for forgiveness as we are willing to forgive others--even those who
      commit heinous crimes against us. St. Stephen prayed for those stoning him,
      "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do," just as Christ did
      while hanging on the cross. And scripture tells us that while we still hated
      God and were his enemies, yet he loved us. It's hard. Hard words, those. But
      we are called to be fools for Christ and the wisdom of Christ is accounted
      foolishness in this world; and the wisdom of this world is foolishness in
      God's sight.

      That does not mean, however, that the country cannot and should not find
      those who committed these acts and punish them. But individually, as
      Christians, we are called to love our enemies. That doesn't mean to want to
      hug them or invite them in our homes. It means, as CS Lewis wrote, to wish
      for them what God wants for them; to pray for their salvation; to hope that
      they will forever enjoy the beatific vision and never suffer the miserific
      vision. But it is hard. But then Christ never said it would be easy. He told
      us that those who follow him would have to "take up his cross and deny
      himself." Part of that denial means denying our desires for justice and
      punishment. For the words of the Lord's Prayer could also mean: "punish me
      as I have punished others" or "punish me as I have desired to punish
      others." As Billy Graham said at that excellent memorial service on Friday,
      we've all fallen short of the glory of God. None of us is as God intended us
      to be. I may not be responsible for the death of thousands, but I'm no
      better than Osama bin Laden or Adolph Hitler. I've put myself above others,
      I've wanted to hurt others, I have hurt others, I've sinned in body, word,
      and deed. If I want to be forgiven by God, then I must forgive those who
      have hurt me, whether directly or indirectly. Hard words.

      Lord, help my unbelief.

      Lord, have mercy.

      Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
      Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
      Mythopoeic Literature
      Associate Professor of English
      Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
      Murfreesboro, TN 37132
      615 898-5836 Office
      615 898-5098 FAX
      tsherman@... Office
      tedsherman@... Home

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Terry Rogers <terryr@...>
      To: <JudPhilips@...>; <tedsherman@...>; <ANSAX-L@...>;
      <MEDTEXTL@...>; <merelewis@...>;
      <ONN@...>; <vpetschulat@...>; <yolanrym@...>;
      <Stolzi@...>; <larrisons@...>;
      <Lee.H.Carson@...>; <jgunn8@...>; <Tentmaker5@...>;
      <Frgordontw@...>; <emartin@...>; <Bcshort@...>;
      <WZB1@...>; <MeeseAlispy@...>; <amam007@...>;
      <mebhansen@...>; <NubbinBJS@...>; <bettybeard@...>;
      <Demetria51@...>; <knehansen@...>; <CRogers877@...>;
      <mhyatt@...>; <Walkermonk@...>; <webfamily@...>;
      <Jack.Parsons@...>; <allen@...>; <WEAE@...>;
      <jdunkle@...>; <jpaise@...>; <johnmallory@...>; <jorson2@g
      Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 7:00 AM
      Subject: FW: A message from Ashley

      If any of you have questions like the young people of my family have
      this may prove to be helpful. It answers several questions that they
      have had and am sure anyone in their 20s, 30s may also have. On a
      different subject, my daughter Ashley who knows how busy I am and
      usually exhausted introcuced me to the "Flylady". Take my word for it
      for some of us who are always battleing clutter or keeping our house
      under control this is a God-send. Check out flylady.net it may be just
      the thing to help you get "out from under" at home.

      > ----------
      > From: Ashley
      > Reply To: ashleykev@... (Ashley)
      > Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 1:43 PM
      > To: Terry Rogers
      > Subject: A message from Ashley
      > Hello Mom,
      > Ashley thought you would be interested in this article from TIME.com:
      > TIME.com: Nation -- Attack Q
      > http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,174783,00.html
      > Comments: Hope this helps
      > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      > For more stories, visit
      > TIME.com: http://www.time.com