Loss. It can come quietly, in expected waves, or suddenly, in a single blinding moment. It can leave debris scattered across city blocks, charred remains of ash and steel, blood and soul. Some days we've never forgotten.
"The grief does not go away," one victim whispered. Such loss. So much trauma. In the days that followed, shock and grief carved caverns which are unquantifiable. The families of the victims do not remember only today. They carry aching chasms, never again feeling quite whole.
In times like these, the question comes: Where is God when the unspeakable happens?
Images seared in my mind, I offer up a question in response, "Who would do such a thing?" It was my first coherent thought after the madness. In the days that came, my husband packed his military gear, and I watched footage after work. Hope for survivors waned, and carnage evoked the reality of war come home. The question reeled- "Who would do such a thing?"
As the years have passed and I reflect on the horror, the shock of those moments, I am certain-the attacks that took the lives of so many men and women, those acts do not bear the fingerprints of One who is only, and always love. No. Those are marks of the enemy, hateful slashes from the one who comes only to steal, kill and destroy.
Yet in the face of such destruction, the evil in the hearts of the perpetrators could not rob us of our humanity.
How many stories have I read of people who helped others? The heroes who ran into the fray, and the heroes who lent a helping hand to a stranger during evacuation. Many once separated by religion or status or busy-ness joined together in the wake of gaping loss to pray, light candles, and even sing, united in heart and in spirit. No evil can take that away.
Standing among the debris, there was a cross that inspired many. Yet I see more than a cross. I see love- shining through compassion, unity, and hope. There was light that day, amidst the choking ash. In the touch of a hand, in the hearts who helped, in the many who ministered to the souls digging through debris of heart and steel.
Because we do not grieve as those without hope, I also see a pure and holy light streaming from "the vast Above", as Jesus gathered up souls and carried them to a place where there is no more pain, no more tears.
There was much light on 9/11. More than our finite minds can grasp. And there is resounding hope, for while the grief does not fade away into nothingness, no act of hate can rob us of connection to Jehovah Rapha, our healer.
Where was God? God was there, every moment- and still is. Inviting us to a place of greater wellness. Grief may be a life long companion, but our Comforter will be too, if we return the invitation and let Love in. (1 John 4:7-8)
~Just Me Mama