Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 - Honoring Those Fallen - Do You Remember?

Five years ago today, Terror. Death. Fire. Smoke. Fear. Anger. Unbelief. Confusion. The graphic images of evil and its consequences matched the number of our emotions. Each of us were affected uniquely. We were all at different places, felt different emotions, and hold different memories of that day. I want to honor those who were killed on that day, and those who have continued to fight for our freedom by recounting our memories of that day. Where were you? How did you find out about the events that had taken place? What was that day and/or week like for you? Do you remember the emotions you felt? If you are reading this, I want to know your thoughts, memories and experience. Please don't pass this one by, but pause to honor those who fell that day, and those who fight for us this day. Share your experience of 9/11. It doesn't matter if you are not a great writer or even if you've never left a comment on this blog. Today I ask you to share.

I was at North Point Community Church getting ready to head out that evening on The Passion Experience tour. The next day was our first stop on the tour at LSU. I really on knew one person at that time on the tour. I was working as a roadie type person. We were working hard to get the lights and set just right when I began to hear about the events that had occurred. I was not really getting full information and could not put all the pieces together. The more information someone would bring to us in the auditorium the more I realized this was not your normal news flash. Naive confusion is the best description of my first emotions and thoughts. Interestingly enough, Chris Tomlin and his band were rehearsing and sound checking with this Delirious song

"My Glorious"
The world's shaking with the love of God
Great and glorious, let the whole Earth sing
And all you ever do is change the old from new
People we believe that...
God is bigger than the air I breatheThe world we'll leave God will save the day and all will say
My glorious! Clouds are breaking, heaven's come to earth
Hearts awakening let the church bells ring And all you ever do is change the old from new
People we believe that...
God is bigger than the air I breatheThe world we'll leave God will save the day and all will say
My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! God is bigger than the air I breathe The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say My glorious!

As we continued to get the news of what was going on, this song never left me and gave me a sense of peace in the midst of the horror. Louie and Shelley (the visionaries and leaders of Passion and the tour) came into the auditorium and gathered us all together. About 10 of us gathered round and though I had yet to see any images of what had happened I could tell the way Louie spoke to us that something terrible of historical nature had taken place. We all prayed together. A bit later I received a phone call from my mom who was frightened and shaken. I had yet to see any of the images. Because of the nature of my work with the tour, it was a day or so before I got to really see any video of what had happened. While many of us on the tour would have rather gone home and been with our families, we were expected to show up in 26 cities across the coutnry and lead in an evening of worship. I was stunned more than anything. I felt so buffered from what was going on, mainly because I did not have opportunity to watch much television during those days. As the details unfolded, the images I saw became forever etched in my mind.

Having visited ground zero since then and seen many images in a large 9/11 book, I am at a loss when trying to imagine how horrible it was for those in NYC, DC, and PA. This past Sunday, I found great hope for believers in the midst of times of terror. The hope came from God's word.

I am currently preaching through Micah and yesterday morning landed in chapter 4. Micah 4 is a chapter of hope for Israel after many promises of judgment. God is promising to gather a remnant to himself despite Israel's wickedness. In chapter one we find a great promise that will find its final fulfillment in the consummation of Christ's return. We he comes and sets up His everlasting kingdom he promises in 1:3

He shall judge between many peoples and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore;

This promise directs us all to look forward to that day. God is moving history toward a day when He will restore all of creation and there will be no more plans or training for or execution of war. Jesus Christ has engaged in the war to end all wars through His death and resurrection. When He returns He will finally end the war and usher in His kingdom of peace. Praise God in that day there will be no more days like 9/11. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Please share, where were you, how did you find out, what was your experience with 9/11?


GloryandGrace said...

I just posted on this myself:

tara said...

I was teaching middle school students with learning and behavior disabilities in a classroom in Bardstown, KY. The significance of what was happening on the television seemed to be to far removed to be believed. I mean these kids had seen buildings blown up in the movies and never given a thought to the lives lost inside. When the sacrifices of the firemen, police officers and other safety officials began to be revealed, my students did seem to have a sense of outrage. Their questions were hard to answer when I was struggling with so many of my own. It was simply surreal to remember standing in the lobbies of those buildings as I had done in high school and then to see them literally vanish from the New York skyline in a matter of moments . . . I still hurt for the 1000s of family members still struggling with their grief without Christ. I can't begin to imagine . . .

stephen lee cavness said...

the summer of 2001 i had been raising $10,000.00 pretty much by myself in order to pay for a four day event the lord had given me a vision for a year before.
the event was supposed to start on september 13th. we had guest speakers flying in (speaker/preacher wes hamilton and beth nimmo, mother of columbine victim rachel scott), as well as music by the normals.
the event was called "4 =forever", and was a four day event free to everyone on a very secular campus that would be bible and christ centered, urging believers to obedience and non believers to christ.
on the morning of 9/11, i was woken up by a phone call by a girl i barely knew who was talking so fast i couldnt understand her. she was a member of a sorority and very active in inviting and getting commitments from the "greek" community to come to "4 = forever". i had to ask her to slow down and repeat herself. she then told me that there were planes flying into buildings in new york and washington, and how i needed to turn on my television. after i told her i didnt have television, i hung up with her and called my dad. i asked what was going on and he informed me that it was very bad.
i got online to see if i could get any pictures or any info, but everything had happened so fast,all they had was a picture of the first tower hit and a headline of "plane hits trade center".
i listened to the radio while getting dressed and the gravity of what had happened began to slowly drip over me.
i got into my truck and drove to campus. on the radio the d.j.'s were crying and reading scripture, and then, in a moment of verbalized speechlessness, they played the song "hold me jesus", by rich mullins. that was the first time i cried over the weight of what was going on. and i remember thinking that this was a historic event on a larger scale than i was able to realize.
i got to campus and parked. i was already late so as i walked to class the campus was silent and no one was outside. i glanced up and saw the biggest and brightest blue sky that i think, even to this day, was the most beautiful and peaceful i have ever seen...
that is when i started to cry for the second time.

this is getting too long for a "comment". i think i'll finish up elsewhere..


Anonymous said...

ok I'd like to read the rest of Steven's story. He is a great writer. Diana

Diana Samuels said...

I remember just sitting at home with my almost 20 month old little boy. I always back then watched the today show but instead it was the news reporting about the incident. I remember thinking to myself what a historic event this was and that my little boy would be studying this event in his history class in high school probably. Also thinking what in the world would I say to him about this. Then as he took his morning nap I began a more emotional thought process. I is still unbelievable and far more advanced to even begin to try to understand.

Kristi Cherry said...

I was living in Nashville and was driving to work that morning (I was running late for work) when I heard a breaking news report on the radio that a plane had flown into the WTC. The dj seemed confused and said that details weren't known, but it may have been a commercial airline. My first thought was that it was a freak accident. When I got to work, some of my co-workers were just hearing the news and gathered in the conference room just across the hall from my office and turned on the TV. We kept the TV on all day; not much work was done that day. I watched in unbelief as the events unfolded and the words "terrorist attack" were first mentioned. My mind couldn't imagine it. Who would have done this? I was nervous about what would happen next. That evening, my roommate and I went to Nashville's Centennial Park to a patriotic rally and prayer service. Martina McBride sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" stirring our hearts to cry out to God for our nation. I felt a great pride in America that night, but also a great need for God's peace in this world.

kathy said...

I had a dental appt that morning at 8 and remember watching on CNN in the waiting room the image of the first plane hitting the tower. As the events unfolded the hygienist and I wondered "What is going on?" Then on the way to work, listening to the radio they announced one of the towers had fallen. We couldn't pull anything up on the internet because everyone was trying to do the same thing. I wanted to talk to everyone in my family. I remember going to James's baseball game that night and how eerie it felt, just knowing that an event had taken place that would forever change our country. Who won the ballgame didn't matter. Some people at the game had been by the church to pray. Alan Jackson says it best in his song, "Where were you . . " summing up every emotion that was stirred that day . . . .

lauren said...

i posted on this a couple of days ago at....

Lori said...

We had recently moved to DFW area and I had not been able to find a teaching position. I subbed daily in different schools. On Sept. 11th I was subbing as a PE teacher at a middle school. I was in the locker room and heard on the radio about a bomb at the WTC. Since there had been a similar thing like this before I basically thought I hope it wasn't bad. During the 3rd period I was sent to a classroom to oversee a study hall. Another teacher came to my class and told me to not turn on the TV or talk about it. I said, "What's going on?" Then she told me about the planes hitting the WTC and the Pentagon. She said something is happening every 30 minustes and we don't know where they are going to attack next. That freaked me out. I had to act like nothing was happening though. Some of the kids had seen tv in other classes and began to talk I little. At lunch all the other teachers were discussing the events. By my last period many of the students had been checked out. I left early and went to the church office where Dustin worked. We lived right by the DFW airport. On a normal day you can look up and see probably 10-20 airplanes in the sky. It was eerie to drive home and see none. When I got to the church I saw the pictures on the internet. I was confused and scared. When we got home we watched the news for a while. It just broke my heart and I cried. Even now at the thought it makes me so sad to think about. I caouldn't see the images any more and we decided to escape from reality and rent a movie.

Five years later I have visited the site several times. The first visit was on a scavenger hunt. We were on Wall Street by the bull and our next thing to do was slide down the pole at a firehouse. Someone else on the team took us to the firestation he knew of that was close. It is actually right at ground zero. I stood in awe and cried. It is a huge hole with a steel cross in the middle. We actually met a firefighter at the firehouse and all I could say was thank you. On another visit into the city we were going to a church that met in the Greenwich Village area. On our walk we passed a hospital that was the closest hospital to the site. Many, many victims were brought there and on one of the side walls the flyers are still hanging of people searching for their loved ones. These also had makeshift memorials.

I actually realized something for the 1st time last week in Bible study. I have prayed a lot for the victims and their families. I've prayed for the cities, companies, and our government throughout everything. In the Bile it says we need to pray for our enemies. I usually only think about that as personal enemies, but I now think we should pray for our nations enemies.

I know this is a long post and a day late, but I didn't get a chance to post yesterday.


Anonymous said...

I was sitting in a Hebrew class at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. Afterwards, the entire student body (that was on campus) gathered in one room to watch everything unfold. When the first tower fell, one of the students turned off the TV and with tears in his eyes said, let's pray. I still remember it being one of the sweetest prayer times I have ever experienced as we prayed as brothers for our nation on that dreadful day.