Remembering September 11th

Like so many, we remember this day 20 years ago.  We grieve for those who lost loved ones and with those whose lives were forever changed.  

We also remember our own stories and experiences, and while there’s not much to add to the beautiful tributes, heartfelt sentiments, and encouraging Scriptures that are shared on this day, there is one moment I would like to share, as it has so deeply impacted me.  

My then-fiance (now husband) worked just three blocks from the World Trade Center and had been in the building 45 minutes prior to the attack. Like so many, he fled the city that day, having witnessed that which was simply indescribable. We returned that Sunday to go to his church in Manhattan.  It was the first time we had been in the city since the attacks and that sight alone is something we will never forget.  

But that morning in church, surrounded by other young professionals whose city had been  attacked five days earlier, who had lost loved ones, who had witnessed other people jumping out of the towers to their death, we sang unto the Lord.   There these young people were –  in their grief, disbelief, confusion, fear – their brokenness choosing to turn their eyes upon the Lord and pour their hearts out unto Him.  The final song, a song with the lyrics “the Lord is good to me,”  felt a little too easy for me to sing that day in comparison to what my brothers and sisters had gone through: I had witnessed everything from an hour away; my fiancé was safe…  But people all around me had different stories with very different outcomes.  Yet, they still worshipped and proclaimed how good the Lord was to THEM.  

The writer of Hebrews instructed his readers to “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise,” meaning that even when life is filled with troubles, hearts are filled with aches, and minds are filled with questions, He is still worthy of praise.  On this day of remembrance, this too, is something I will never forget and will forever be changed by. 

Today we extend our sympathy to those who experienced loss that day and we lift our eyes, in hope, to the Lord.  These were the lyrics of that final song:

I cry out,
For Your hand of mercy to heal me.
I am weak,
I need Your love to free me.
Oh, Lord, my Rock,
My strength in weakness,
Come rescue me, oh Lord.

You are my hope,
Your promise never fails me.
And my desire is to follow You forever.

For You are good,
For You are good,
For You are good to me
For You are good,
For You are good,
For You are good to me
(“Good to Me,” Brian Doerksen)


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