Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was having breakfast in New Hampshire with a pastor friend when the news first arrived via cell phone. We ended our breakfast early to attend to family members who were calling to see if we were ok. I headed to my office where I found our ministry team all together, huddled around a small television in our board room. They were in stunned silence as the news was breaking and the twin towers were burning and collapsing. We sat together in utter amazement. Our work never really commenced that infamous morning, for our tears, shock, fear, and prayers were all we were capable of managing. When the reality began to sink in, we did what was necessary and then headed home early to be with loved ones.

One dear friend of ours had survived. He was in his office in the World Trade Center that morning, but escaped before his office tower fell to the ground. Miraculously he made it home safe and sound. There were other reports of friends who didn’t make it, some still lost in the rubble. As the news reports began to focus on terrorism, the fear was viscerally felt throughout the nation. I will never forget that day; it’s permanently etched in my heart and mind. Perhaps you feel the same.

This weekend we remembered. We recalled with vivid acuity that memorable day 10 years ago. Our leaders spoke with warmth and depth and certitude. The memories of those who died and those who survived were honored appropriately. There was unity, oneness, commonality in our national strength.

What will tomorrow bring? Will we return once more to schism, fear, and distrust? Or, will we remain focused on the task of eradicating hatred in our world? A lofty goal, but certainly an understandable response.

9/11 is a fitting day of remembrance. As Christians, it’s appropriate that we join our fellow citizens to remember and give thanks. May God Almighty reign supremely in our hearts and minds as we process the fear of terror, the fruit of forgiveness, and the need to put our deepest and fullest trust in God and God alone – no matter what may come our way today or in the future.

With vivid memories we recall 9.11.01. With grace, mercy, love and peace we embrace a future filled with hope.

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