Sunday, September 10, 2017

Reality We Can't Forget

The world changed forever on September 11, 2001. It was an unforgettable day. We want to forget. We want the memories to go away and never return. But, we see the images in our minds, with our eyes shut. We cried. We still cry. The mourning will never end.

Only the youngest of generations is free of the video loop that plays over and over in our heads. As we stood watching the impossible happen at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, in rural Pennsylvania. The awful sick feeling that overtook us that day returns with the memories. Only the disbelief was replaced by the reality of the darkest, most dreadful pain that just grew worse with each passing day. The stories that were told broke our hearts. The connections to someone we knew kept being made. The Iowans. The firemen and policemen. The fathers. The mothers. The sisters and brothers. Our heroes. Taken from us by a devil.

Life will never be the same. Terrorism attacked us at home. Now it seems to happen any day. But,  2997 people died; more than 6,000 were injured; $10 billion in infrastructure damage was incurred (according to Wikipedia). Security was tightened. Inspections were implemented at airports. Safety plans were initiated at nearly every business, school, and building. Fear was sprinkled around the country like candy from a giant piƈiata. Suspicion entered hearts and minds. Our knees became calloused and sore. Our country's military was on alert for a stranger named Osama bin Laden.

9/11 Memorial & Museum
"If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God," (Deuteronomy 8:19-20 NIV).

We hugged our children tighter when we tucked them into bed. We kissed our spouse goodbye and welcomed them home with relief. We read the newspaper pages of names of the deceased and wept. White crosses. Flags. Photographs. Flowers. Waterfalls around a reflecting pool. And names. Endless, beautiful, carefully-picked names for lives ended so brutally.

Lord, I pray today for the hearts that were broken on 9/11/2001. May you bring peace and comfort into their days. May you touch us all with Your nearness, and Your blessed promise of eternal life when we trust in You. Thank you for helping us through painful times and fearful times. Be our strength and our shield each day. In the Holy Name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

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