9-11

We couldn’t look away from the TV screens, watching the planes fly into those towers, into the Pentagon, into that Pennsylvania field again and again, telling ourselves that it couldn’t be real.  I remember saying, “It’s just a cloud of dust, right?  The building couldn’t just be gone, right?”

It’s been on my mind all day.  Remembering.  Feeling the weight of the evil crushing.  16 years.  The wrenching hollowness of watching the largest buildings I had ever seen disintegrate into clouds of toxic dust. Papers fluttered like so many white butterflies rising and falling on languid breezes.  Ashen faces streaked with tears.  Strangers holding strangers, each grieving losses as yet unknown and unnamed.

2996 people gone.  Man’s inhumanity to man.

David’s plea of worship to God in Psalm 56 rings out clearly today.  Only the Almighty God can bring grace to our wounded remembering.  Only He accurately takes note of oppression to bring justice.  Fear loses power when faced with Faith in Him.  Mere flesh holds no sway over God or His will.  He has tenderly traced our tears.

56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
    all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
    for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can flesh do to me?

All day long they injure my cause;
    all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk;
    they watch my steps,
    as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape?
    In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
    in the day when I call.
    This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?

12 I must perform my vows to you, O God;
    I will render thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
    yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

 

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Wall of Remembrance at the 9-11 Museum. The letters made of steel from the wreckage.            The ironic quote from Virgil.
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Pews of St. Paul’s Chapel, scratched by the tool belts of resting First Responders.

 

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Survivor’s Stairs, Ground Zero 9-11 Museum
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Ground Zero Void
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Rest in Peace.

 

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