What were you doing six years ago, the morning or eve of September 11?
I can still recall sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and watching in confusion as American Airlines flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. At first, I thought it was the end of a movie, until I realised that all TV channels were showing the same footage. I felt physically sick to my stomach. Despair, anger, sadness - all of these emotions assaulted me at once and all I felt like doing was running to a solitary place and crying.
The following week was very strange as I found myself noticing every passing airplane, thinking it was flying too low. I remember having a very real sense of my own mortality, and reflecting upon my own inevitable date with eternity.
Six years later, I am watching the memorials on TV, taking in the countless sad faces of those who lost loves ones. I aimlessly flick through the channels, and notice a familiar face - former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He is speaking at a remembrance service, and says…
“We’ve come back to remember the valor of those we lost, those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them.”
How should I remember this event as a follower of the Lord Jesus? Does the Bible speak to this tragedy in any way? I recall the parable Jesus told in Luke 13 about a building accident. Apparently a Tower collapsed killing 18 people. Jesus’ response is to repent , or we too will perish! Whenever we see, hear or experience a tragedy, amidst the onslaught of emotions we will no doubt feel, Jesus’ words encourage us to turn back to God. To repent. To remember that he is God, the creator, and we are his creation.
Tragedies & disasters in this life are a constant reminder that this world is temporary and fleeting, and should warn us of the greatest disaster — facing the next life without Jesus Christ. As Jesus himself said…
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12
Whatever you are doing today, and however you are remembering September 11, stop and thank God that he sent his precious Son to die for you and I.