As the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States is here, I remember that the events of 9/11/2001 are bracketed for me by the birth of my oldest son. I sat in the hospital lobby that evening (while my wife was attending a childbirth class), watching the news and videos from the events of that day. Then, as my son was born a month later, the war in Afghanistan had started, and as I saw more news in the hospital room during that stay, I wondered what sort of world I was bringing him into. He is now nearing his 20th birthday, and the world is still a place where relying on armies, government, wealth, power, or fame is naïve. Like then, only Jesus Christ can see us through all that we will face on this earth, as well as what He has prepared for us in eternity. Everything else – while not necessarily unimportant – is secondary to our relationship with Him.
I don’t think that I can add to what has been said about all those involved in the events of 9/11: from those who sought harm for their fellow human beings, to those who saved lives by confronting the terrorists; from those who lost their lives, to those who rushed in to help; from those who lost family and friends to those who found new companions to help them through their grief; from those whose faith in transient things (which they believed would provide security) was lost, to those who found a new hope and new purpose in life through something even greater.
However, I can share the words of others from 20 years ago, in a collection of photos that several of us from our congregation captured later in that fateful year. Three years ago, I assembled these into a photo essay, linked below. I invite you to let these images remind you to pray for all those who have lost something and need hope. Then, ask God how you can be the messenger of healing to someone who needs it today.