We are rapidly approaching the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01, a day that changed America forever. On that day, a young man who lost some firefighter friends penned several poems. Mattie Stepanek left this world before I got the opportunity to say thank you for his thoughts. I sought out an interview with Mattie's mother to learn more about her special son. She gave me an hour of her time and I hung up the phone knowing something in my heart was stirring. She reminded me of another mother who lived a long time ago, someone who relentlessly pointed people to her Son.
In Mattie's final book, "Just Peace: A Message of Hope," he wrote...
is in a crisis. There is so much anger, so much hatred, so much
fighting. People worry about
differences, but our differences
are our unique beauties, our strengths, our gifts. We compare
others, measuring might and
wealth and success and esteem in units that don't really count or add up
the standards of future and
eternity. I fear the rages, and the wages, of war. And sometimes, I
world might need fictional
characters like Yoda from Star Wars and Gandalf from The Lord of the
Rings and Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter who battle defensively,
gently overcoming oppressions and
injustice, to come to life and
inspire people to think and act and be differently. Then, rather than
fears lead to anger and then
hate and then suffering, people would be more inclined to have courage
wisdom and seek peace in
nonviolent methods like the heroes in books and movies. But in reality,
have people and organizations
with all the admirable qualities of these fictional role models. People
nations, of all ages, of all
races and religions and abilities and aspirations can choose to just
in our very real world and see
that we are a mosaic of unique gifts. But we must heed that the mosaic
breaking. The treasured pieces
are scattered. We need to gather, we need to rebuild the mosaic of
life. We need to be motivated to choose peace."
How will you spend your day on 9/11? If you wish to be a part of rebuilding the mosaic, take a moment and share Mattie's message of peace with a friend. To my friend, Jeni Stepanek, I thank you for the insight you have given me regarding your son.