Remembering 9/11

As a child, I heard people talking about where they were when they first heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) and when they first heard that President Kennedy had been shot (November 22, 1963). I can close my eyes and see the scene of our family sitting around a small black and white television watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon (July 20, 1969). Now, I suspect that you remember where you were when you heard the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. It’s one of those never-to-be-forgotten moments in our lives.

Memories are coming back to us as we approach the 10th anniversary of that tragic, heart-wrenching, unbelievable event in lower Manhattan. Our world has changed so much since that day. If you don’t believe it, take a trip to Canada, book an airline flight, enter any government building or listen to talk radio! This event has had economic implications. This event has caused growing animosity toward Muslims. This event triggered two wars with casualties in the thousands and deteriorated American goodwill in many places of the world. Many of our civil liberties that we took for granted are now luxuries in our post 9/11 world. Yet, with all of our precautions and security, fear still dogs us and threats still concern us which is why now, more than ever, if that is even possible, we need to focus our attention on God.

It’s important for us to remember and to grieve with those who lost family and friends. It’s important for us to remember and to grieve the loss of innocence and the sense of protection. It’s important for us to remember and to grieve all of the pain that this event has caused—not just in our nation but in nations throughout the world. But it is also important to focus our attention on God who is still at work in our world, on God who is still sovereign, on God who is still the only true answer to all that we seek.

I’m praying for safety as the events of the weekend unfold. I’m also praying that the remembrances in New York and every other place will be an opportunity to see the love, grace and power of God.