Today, I am remembering the tragic events of September 11, 2001. I am taking a moment to remember the victims and their loved ones, as well as the heros and heroines of that horrific day.
On Wednesday of this week, I will be posting a story of my 9/11 experience, stranded on the streets of downtown Washington, D.C. with nowhere to go and no place to hide. It has taken me years to put that story to paper, but I finally found the courage to relive those memories. Some of you may know that I entered this story into our local Burlington Writer’s Club adult writing contest this year and was so surprised to receive first place in the long non-fiction category. While I have considered publishing the story, I decided that I would share it first with you, my faithful supporters. We cannot undo the horrors that were done that day, but we can honor the victims and the survivors by remembering their great sacrifice.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
2 Corinthians 1:10 – NIV
“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September Day?”
-Alan Jackson, 2001
Where were you on that September day? What do you remember?
I can hardly believe that it has been eighteen years since that awful September day, but the memories of that day are forever etched in my mind…September 11, 2001.
Just think about it. The children born that year are headed off to college. The children who were playing on their elementary school playgrounds that day are now yong adults. So much time has passed, so much has changed, and yet, the heartache and the horror of that day remains with us.
I wonder about the families of the victims. Where are they now? What is life like for them? Did they find comfort for the heartache that will always be a part of them? Did they find hope? Peace? I hope so. I hope they found a way to move forward.
What of the survivors? What about those that found their way out of those burning buildings? What of the first responders who saved so many through their heroic actions? What is life like for them today? Have their wounds healed? Have they found hope and peace?
When tragedy strikes, life is forever changed. Time may pass, wounds heal, but the trauma, the heartache, remains in our memory, forever a part of us.
Have you suffered through tragedy in your life? Whether national or personal, we all encounter heartache and loss at one time or another. In my experience, there are only two choices for dealing with tragedy. We can give up in defeat and despair or go on, facing the future with courage and hope. That choice makes all the difference.
The choice is ours to make, but if we choose to move forward, we don’t have to go it alone. God will walk that hard road with us.
So often, we shoulder our burdens alone, turning away from God in doubt and disappointment. Because our “Why?” questions are not answered, we incorrectly assume God doesn’t care about our wounds. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We live in a fallen and sinful world where things go wrong, and bad things happen, often to good people. In John 16:33, Jesus warned us we would have trouble, but He didn’t stop there. He followed up with “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We will not know the “Why?” of our tragedies, but we can watch how God will see us through our suffering, how He will bring comfort, peace and hope out of the ashes of our lives.
To live victoriously, we must choose to trust, standing on our faith, claiming our confident hope. We must let go of the blaming and bitterness, and choose instead to open our hearts to love. For in the end, three things remain: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – NIV
O Lord, You know the tragedies we face, the suffering we endure. Your heart aches for the hurts that plague us in this fallen world. You stand ready to walk with us down the hard roads of this life. Help us to reach out to You, finding rest and comfort for our burdened souls. For our hope lies in You, in the assurance of Your unfailing love and Your unending grace.