I’m not sure I have much to add to all that is being said and written today – 20 years after the nightmarish terrorist attacks on our nation. But to say nothing at all seems to belittle the horror of that day.
I was still at home watching the news when the first plane hit the tower. There was a lot of confusion and speculation at the time. It was assumed to be a terrible accident. Reporters tried to sort through the incoming reports, but all speculation was set aside as another passenger jet slammed in the second tower of the World Trade Center. I don’t remember saying anything, only sitting and staring and wondering what was next.
By day’s end, we had our answer. The twin towers fell. There was a charred and burning hole in the Pentagon. And there was a downed plan in a Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 had died. The world changed that day, and we became aware that we were not out of terror’s reach.
The world is a dangerous place. None of us is truly insulated from disease or crime or poverty or death. This is a broken world filled with broken people – sometimes broken and twisted. We who live the United States are still relatively safe, but it is only relative.
Our lives and our families can be dramatically change in an instant. Terrorism is most likely not the thing that will do us in. Auto accidents, cancer, heart attacks, and disease are far more likely to take us out. Our lifespan is finite, and our life itself with have plenty of struggles.
In an uncertain world, we need something certain, something we can hold on to, something that won’t let us down. In reality, that something is a Someone. We need God.
I know people will ask, “But where was God when the planes ran into the World Trade Center?” The answer is not all that complicated – God was where He always was – He was with us.
God created this world without the heartaches and loss that we experience today, but that first couple decided they knew better then He, and we have not only shared in the penalty of that decision, we have been making that same tragic mistake every since. The world is what we have made of it, and if it were not for the mercy of God we would all be living in abject misery without hope.
With God there is hope. Hope for peace in the middle of our pain, and hope for an eternity without pain or sickness or tears. The old song says, “This world is not my home. I’m just passing through.” This is a broken world. We make the best of it that we can. We try to relieve some of the heartache and hardships that many experience along the way. And we invite others to enter into an immediate and eternal relationship with God through trusting in His Son as Savior.
As we remember today and mourn, let us also look to the only One who can set things right – and will do so, perhaps sooner than we might suppose.