“God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord and He had been my savior.” — Isaiah 12:2
I am not sure what I can write about today that would make any kind of impression compared to all the heart warming and heart wrenching stories I have heard on the news in the weeks leading up to this momentous anniversary. Countless stories of unbelievable courage, terrible grief and amazing coincidences have been shared, and I am sure more will be told for many years to come. The horrific, deadly attack on our country touched us all, embedding a memory in each of our minds. Our stories are unique as they are tethered to our individual circumstances of that time. On that terrifying morning, my husband and I were overwhelmed with concern for our daughter who had just begun her freshman year at Manhattan College.
The unity of American citizens is no doubt the most indisputable narrative of the 9/11 days. We were united in grief and pain. We were united in anger and anguish. Most importantly, we were united in hope with a new focus on a new challenge. We reaffirmed for ourselves what is truly important — our faith, our family, our friends and our communities . We stopped taking our freedom for granted, and we said so.
We robustly began to express our gratitude for our service men and women. We thank them and their families for their sacrifices. Many new organizations emerged. “Quilts of Valor, (www.qovf.org),” “Operation Gratitude (www.opgratitude.com),” “Socks for Soldiers (www.socksforsoldiers.com),” and “Wounded Warrior (www.woundedwarriorproject.org)” are just a few of the groups with whom I have become familiar. There are hundreds more.
My priest, Father Tim, said it so well this morning. While we can never fully understand why there is evil or why such tragic events happen, most of us know how to respond. If we couldn’t physically be there to save lives or clean up the debris, as tens of thousands were, we volunteered our time and energy in as many ways as we could to help, and we continue to do so today. I believe this is God at work. We are His voice, eyes, ears, hands, legs and heart.
Once when I was going through a difficult time, I received a card from a friend with this poem on it. I regret that I do not know the author. It simply says what I believe to be true. God is here for us even in very difficult times.
I know that He lives . . . For I saw Him today in a hand that was offered to me on my way, in the warmth of a smile that was offered to cheer me, in the touch of a friend who took time just to hear me. I heard His voice in the words of support whispered to me when my hope had run short. Yes, I know that He lives for I see how He sends His love every day In the caring of friends.