Originally created 09/08/02

To live in hope



The world seems much more complicated since Sept. 11. But one thing remains deceptively simple:

Our attitude is up to us. It's the one thing no one can take from us.

For Lisa Beamer, widow of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer, the choice came down to this: "to become bitter, or to become better; to live in fear, or to live in hope.

"I've chosen to live in hope."

That choice, and the strength and confidence she exudes as a result of it, has made Lisa Beamer an American icon, and a symbol of America's resolve.

Where does that strength, confidence and hope spring from? That, too, is simple.

Faith in God.

Readers of Lisa Beamer's popular book on the tragedy and the ensuing months, Let's Roll, may expect a gripping account of the battle on Flight 93.

And while the book is a dramatic buildup to those life-and-death moments, there's not much light she or anyone else can shed on the tumult leading to the plane's plunge into a Pennsylvania field.

Instead, readers may be surprised to learn that the book, while a tribute to her husband and his fellow passengers' can-do heroism, is mostly about faith in God.

It seems both she and Todd were raised in devout Christian environments. They even met at Wheaton College, a Christian institution that calls the Rev. Billy Graham an alumni.

But faith isn't something you can leave behind in church or school, or visit once a week. Faith is something you must carry with you every day of your life. As Lisa and Todd's and the rest of the country's experience shows, you never know when you'll need it.

Indeed, when they cleaned out the car Todd had left at the airport, they found a Scripture memorization card in the armrest tray - the same passage from Romans 11:33-36 that Lisa had once used to get through the death of her father.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Knowing that, how can we do anything else but smile confidently and say, "Let's roll!"?