Sunday, September 11, 2011

We will never forget

Where was I on 9/11? I was just a wee girl of 6. I remember sleepily padding into my parents’ bedroom in my yellow teddy bear nightgown and finding Mommy staring at the TV with horror written all over her face. I didn’t comprehend why the tall, official looking buildings on the screen were toppling over, fire exploding in big bursts from them. I didn’t understand why Mommy didn’t turn the channel- I usually wasn’t allowed to watch violent shows on TV. I didn’t comprehend that our nation, the United States of America, was under attack. Bad men had threatened our freedom, our safety, and our lives. I didn’t comprehend that ordinary men, just like my Daddy whom I admired so much, had heroically placed their lives as 2nd priority and put mine and the rest of America’s first. They knew they were going to die. Some had had wives at home who they loved with all their hearts. Some had children at home. Young children. Unborn children, whom they would never meet.
I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it perfectly now. There were young children on those hijacked planes. Teens, just like myself. They knew they were going to die. Those terrorists had told them that everything would be fine if they just sat still. But they lied. They had put a timer on those people’s lives and it was slowly ticking down. I can’t imagine what those passengers were thinking or feeling as the buildings quickly approached their plane. I know that some felt terror. Some felt anger. Some probably felt peace, because God was comforting His sons and daughters. I’m not sure how I would have felt. Maybe a bit of terrified at the fact of dying. I would have wished I could have done more with my life, helped more people, experienced more. But I know, because I’m a Christian, that I would have felt an overwhelming peace from God. I would have been joyful that I was minutes away from meeting my Savior.
            In the midst of the tragedy of 9/11 and even today, ten years later, people wonder where God was at that time. People wonder if He had turned a blind eye to America’s suffering. No, He had not. He was present with America during that catastrophe. People wonder why He didn’t stop it from happening. I believe that God allows tragedy to see how we react. To see if we turn to Him or blame Him.  Sometimes God allows tragedy because a nation needs punishment. And sometimes He allows tragedy because we need to grow stronger as a nation. I believe that God allowed 9/11 for a little of each of these reasons.
            Today, as we remember the heartache our nation went through ten years ago, let’s remember one other thing. Those Islamic terrorists were thieves. They attempted to take away our freedom. They killed innocent Americans. But God’s presence in our lives did not die. Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God.

This is one of the steel crosses the firefighters found in a steel "cavern" amid the rubble of the Twin Towers. Four crosses in all were found, each standing tall and strong in the remains of a tragedy.

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