***Originally posted 9/11/13***
Twelve years ago today I was a 26 year old mom of two.
My husband was off that day, and we were sleeping in, snuggling with our 3 year old and 6 month old. A family member who worked on a military base called and told us to turn on the news. Sleepily, we did, just in time to watch live as the 2nd plane hit. It was hard to comprehend and process what we were seeing. It didn’t seem real.
Later that day, we had an appointment with our home builder. We were supposed to pick out some of the interior elements for the new house we had just signed a contract to build.
It was surreal, sitting in their office, trying to focus on tile, carpet, and paint samples while watching the news and wondering what was going to happen. I remember wondering if we should even go forward with our building plans…
September 11, 2001 was also my grandmother’s 80th birthday…and the day she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Watching her suffering over the next couple of months was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Less than 3 months later, she was gone. My oldest (now 15), barely remembers her. My 12 year old doesn’t remember her at all, and my younger two never even got to meet her. My eyes fill with tears just typing that. She would have been 92 today.
Yes, 9/11 is definitely a memory-filled day for our family.
On days like these, with all the uncertainty, fear, and grief, we have to remember where our hope lies and Who gives us peace.
During my daily devotional time, I’m reading through a book of prayers by Pastor Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers for a Transformed Life.
Here’s his prayer for today:
A Prayer about Peace from Everyday Prayers for a Transformed Life
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
Dear Jesus, it’s the day on our calendars that earned its own dark branding, “9/11.” There have been many days in history that stand out as graphic reminders of the pervasive brokenness of the world – of just how far we have fallen and just how fully the peace of creation has been violated by sin and death. But in my lifetime, no day in American history tells that story more clearly than September 11.
I’ll never forget how it felt watching the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center crumble to the earth. It was chilling, frightful, and surreal. But as I remember that day of terror and trauma, I also choose to remember you, Jesus. Otherwise I would stew in despair or simply be driven to rage.
Lord Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace—the archetypal Peacemaker. You are the one who has come to make all things new, to restore broken things, to bring new creation delight from old creation decay.
Your death on the cross was the ultimate sowing of peace. As you died, taking the judgment we deserve, you were planted as the very seed which has secured an eternal harvest of righteousness. Your death was the death of death itself and the promise of eternal shalom.
Because of you, terror is terrified. Indeed, because of you, one day there will be no terror or tears. There will be no more brokenness or barrenness, no more heartaches or heartburn, no more human trafficking or even human tooth decay, no more war or even aggravation, no more evil or even envy, no more poverty or even pouting, and no more “not yet,” “not enough,” or “not now.”
Our labors in you, King Jesus, are not in vain. Because of you we can, and must, live as peacemakers, sowing the peace of the gospel of the kingdom, with the absolute assurance that a harvest of righteousness is being raised and will be reaped.
We praise you that your name is Redeemer, Reconciler, and Restorer. We cry out loud, “Maranatha!” Come, Lord Jesus, come! Until that Day, give us all the mercy, grace, and peace we need for this day. We pray with joy and hope. Amen.
Today, I choose to praise God, both for what he has done and is doing in the world today, despite all the darkness and heartache!
Where were you on 9/11/2001? How are you remembering and responding today?
For further discussion and reflection:
- 9 facts about the aftermath of the attack and an inspiring video clip
- A firsthand account written by the husband of a homeschooling friend of mine
- A powerful video put together by a teacher: We Must Never Forget