This is a reissue of a post first published September 11, 2015
September 11th. Just the date itself evokes memories, thoughts, and emotions for many people across our country.
Today, I watched as the President of the United States and the first lady walked silently from the White House, past an honor guard, and through a gauntlet of people. They stopped and bowed their heads in silent remembrance of that horrific day, and the precious people lost. Then, gently piercing the quiet, a lone bugle played taps; it was a powerful moment, and one in which I felt emotions begin to well up in me. As the sites in New York, Shanksville Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon were also visited, I once again realized the horrific toll that day had on our country, and how it continues to reach into our lives.
The devastation was enormous; the airplanes used as gigantic missiles, the collapse of the Twin Towers, and the heroic people that thwarted even more destruction and loss of life. But beyond all the disturbing images lies the lives of people forever changed.
My wife and I start everyday in an embrace as we pray for our day; that Gods will be done through and in us, that He would protect us, shielding our hearts, eyes, and minds from the snares of the enemy. Then there are days like today. As I prayed, I began to think of the many who lost loved ones and continue to struggle, that God would grant them peace. We both began to weep as I prayed, I hesitated as we both were overcome with emotion, tears streaming down our cheeks.
I then began to think of the long-term effects of trauma. Many are dealing with tragedies all around us, and they manifest in different ways. I think of how frustrated and impatient I am with people sometimes as I focus on my tasks and my life; ignorant of the troubles all around me, blinded by the mountains I face. When I am cut off in traffic, or treated in a way I perceive as unfair, and react in a very non-loving way. Notice all the me’s and I’s?
Maybe this would be a good prayer for today:
Dear God; today, let Your love, compassion, and grace fill the lives of all those who are devastated by the many tragedies of this life. Show us how to love as You did, seeing beyond our own troubles and busyness, reaching out in a way that builds relationship and support for each other through all the challenges we face. You have been so utterly and completely extravagant with Your love; help us remember those blessings beyond measure, both seen and unseen. Let us strive to be as equally generous to others by imitating Your selfless sacrifice for all. We love you Father, Amen.