Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where was God during the terror attacks of 9/11?

A week after the towers were destroyed I found myself at a youth conference in North Carolina. Before the kids arrived, we the staff (and I the paid and flown in musician) sat in the circle…and prayed. We prayed for the young people, we prayed for strength and stamina for the coming weekend. We prayed for safe travel for the participants…and then one of the ministers said, “ I have been unable to find God in all this, how could God be in any of it?”

We were silent for a while more. After all it was a valid sentiment. I have found that in times of disaster people usually end up in one of 4 camps….

a. God was with me, I made it through.

b. God’s will be done, I’m not going to question, even though I have questions.

c. God was not there, that is why it happened.

d. God did this, how can I love that God.

The people that I was with in that hour of prayer could not find God in the disaster…and I was not in the camp that said that the disaster was willed by God…that he caused the crash to further the cause of Christ…which I have heard spoken a few times since.

That night, after the yoots were sleeping in their cabins, I prayed again. “Heavenly Father, show me where you were.”

This is what I heard and wrote down.

I was there, I was weeping for the men who were committing the murders. I was in their ears, in their consciences, begging them, commanding them to stop…they couldn’t hear me, or they wouldn’t hear me. Listen. LISTEN! Listen.

I had my arms around those in the buildings; I was comforting the dying and the terrified. I was weeping for the loss and the injury; was whispering into the ears of the suicidal…saying, “I am with you always.” I was falling with the victims of the disintegrating towers; I was gathering the dead into my arms.

I was in the hearts and muscle tissue of the rescuers; I was in the prayers of the faithful as well as those to whom prayer was new and unfamiliar. My word and Holy Spirit was bringing comfort when no answer would suffice. I was in the morgue, on the walls of photographs, in the ambulances, moving through the dust. I was in the courage of the construction workers and the conviction of the surviving policemen and firemen.

I was on the Cross saying to those who knew me, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

I am still in New York, healing hearts, fighting disillusionment and hatred. I am in America, reaching out with a message of forgiveness and reconciliation and welcoming those who in their confusion and pain turn to me to cope; pointing them to Jesus.

And I’m back in the terrorist camps, wherever they may be, screaming into the ears of the extremist assassin. Stop! Listen to me! This is NOT what I require of you! You have been sold a lie in my name. Turn your head to me…here is my Son, Jesus. He has a message for you… Listen. LISTEN. Listen.

May God bless us all.


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