Sunshine in the Valley

humor and encouragement from my heart to yours


on September 11, 2009

Has it really been 8 years since “the day the world stopped turning”?  The events of that day are still so vivid in my mind, and I know I’m not the only one.

I’ll never forget the sight of those towers falling…. the people leaping from windows to escape the flames… the crying relatives desperately holding up pictures of missing loved ones.  There were so many heartrending, unforgettable scenes that day. Weird how certain ones stick with me more than others. One of the most poignant scenes–and one that I will probably never forget– was the sight of dozens of firefighters marching towards the first tower of the Trade Center. The second tower had just collapsed, and we all knew that the collapse of WTC One could be imminent. People were fleeing for their lives. A lone reporter covered in dust stood watching those brave men file past, and as he spoke into the camera, he got choked up as he pointed out that while everyone else was running away from the danger, that group of firemen were walking directly towards it. The raw emotion on his face, and the reality of what those men were about to face, was unforgettable.

Minutes later, the second tower collapsed.

The horror was unspeakable.

I have often wondered how many of those courageous men died in that moment. The very men I had seen only moments before… how many of their lives were snuffed out  just a short while later? The scene still haunts me, 8 years later. I cannot imagine what this day must be like for the thousands of families directly affected by the events of that day.

I still remember the unity we all felt for a short time. The common grief we all shared, and the kindness that was consequently shown among perfect strangers. I remember the heroism of that day, as well as many days following… the people who gave everything to save the lives of people they had never met. I remember how folks turned to God, however short-lived. It was no longer considered “politically incorrect” for Congress to gather on the Capitol steps and sing “God Bless America”. Suddenly, He was welcome back into public life. His name was mentioned, and not just as a curse word.

Unfortunately, while ordinary life was changed forever, hearts were not. People cried in outrage, “where was GOD on September 11th? How could HE let this happen?”

Ah. So suddenly the God that is considered virtually non-existent by the media on normal days, is first beseeched to bless us, and then is suddenly the one who showed up to destroy the day, eh? What a convenient scapegoat. :P

What a sad reality.

We know the facts. American society has removed Him from the classroom, from the government, from public life as much as possible, and labeled those who love Him as “hatemongers” and freaks…. why, He’s not even welcome in some churches. :P Why would it be such a shocker if He didn’t show up to save the day for people who care nothing for Him or His laws?

But the truth of the matter is, God did show up that day. He was there with the passengers aboard those airliners. He was there in the towers, with the people trapped at the top surrounded by flames… with those desperately cramming down stairwells… with the people who fought the hijackers to bring the flight down in a Pennsylvania field. Yes, He was even in the Pentagon. He was there with the rescuers at each tragic site, and who can tell how many lives were saved by His intervention?

I cannot pretend to understand all of His ways. I do not know why some people were miraculously spared while others were tragically taken. But this I do know: God was not the author of the evil events that day. God is good and loving, and on one of the darkest days in American history, His comfort was there for all who would receive it. His grace was there in spite of widespread rejection and blame unrighteously placed on Him. And I love Him for it. :)

Yet as longsuffering and kind as He is, God is no teddy bear. He does not tolerate sin. He has uniquely blessed and protected us as a nation in the past, but as the years have gone by, we seem to have not only forgotten, but taken active measures to eradicate the very One who made us great. I wonder if He is lifting that special hedge from around us. I think the events of 9/11 were a “warning”.

What will it take for us to wake up?


One response to “Remembering

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Christ’s response when asked about another tower that fell: “Repent, lest you likewise perish.”

    Here is what I blogged the same day =)

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