There is a light in the world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness one may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways. ~ Mother Teresa
This, “September 11”, is a solemn day. It is one of those days when we remember, if we were old enough, exactly where we were and what we were doing at the time. I was watching morning news when the report broke in of the first plane slamming into the world trade center. We were switched to national news and watched, live, as the second plane followed. I saw it coming. I still can. I hoped and prayed that it was flying behind the building and that the first plane was an accident. But it didn’t and it was not. My granddaughter was getting ready to go to school and she looked at us, her grandfather and me. We could not speak. The images were written on all our minds with indelible ink.
People, believers and non-believers, packed churches looking for answers. Why? How? Where is God? They wanted and needed answers and they needed comfort, reassurance and hope, especially hope. For a few days, we were kinder to each other. We watched as the scope of the horror unfolded and as clean-up began. Then, gradually, we went back to our “regular lives.”
It happened before in America, in 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II. I don’t remember this day because I was not yet born. My mother was four months pregnant with me at the time. Did she remember exactly where she was that day? Were her questions the same as ours on 9/11? Did people wonder where God was? I wish I had asked her, but I never thought to do so.
This could all happen again. Jesus said, in Matthew 24:6ff, “….you will hear of wars and rumors of wars [he should have added “humans being how they are” but he didn’t]; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”
“Are there any ANSWERS at all?” we continue to ask. Yes! God gave the answer when Jesus came to earth in flesh. Jesus showed us how we are to live so his Kingdom would begin to be realized. He promised that when the Kingdom of God finally comes in fullness there will be no more tears, no hunger, no homelessness, no war but, instead, peace. God’s promised peace is more than lack of war and turmoil. It is the presence of Love – a love that loves God and all others as we love ourselves – a love that even begins to restore creation.
The Daughters of the King, of which I and many of you are a part, vow to pray for the spread of God’s Kingdom every day. We pray for this in any way we can, and then, we try to live the Kingdom life to help become the answer to our own prayers and God’s. We try, as best we can, to love as Jesus loves, how he showed us and how he asks us to love. We invite you to join us in our prayer. Let this be our “regular lives”.
In the meantime, we hang on tightly to hope that is given us. Frederick Buechner wrote at the time of 9/11, “….All we can do is to draw close to God and to each other as best we can, the way those stunned New Yorkers did, and to hope that,.…when all hell breaks loose, there is nothing that happens, not even hell, where God is not present with us and for us.”
Come, Lord Jesus.