"I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow." - Jeremiah 31:13
A few years ago Susan and I visited the 911 Memorial in New York located beneath the Freedom Tower built where the former World Trade Centers stood. Being below ground and without daylight gives it a very somber feel, but even more, the beautifully presented tributes give the haunting awareness of the people who lost their lives in that small square footage September 11, 2001.
It's been fifteen years. That's enough time for a generation of children to become adults. It's been estimated that some 10,000 children lost parents in one of the terrorist attacks that day. One tribute on the 911 memorial site is by a young woman who lost her father as a little girl. It is truly a tribute to how God uses our pain and tragedy to bring healing and help to others. You can read that tribute here.
What do we take away from the tragedy of 911 fifteen years later? Much could be said for the fact that our involvement in the Iraq War has created the modern reality of ISIS. Much could be said that our failure to act more responsively in other parts of the world where terrorists have attacked has meant the added deaths of American citizens. But what else is true? Beyond the headlines broadcast on FOX News or CNN is the fact that God is at work.
God uses tragedy to help and heal. God is reshaping the pain people have suffered to bring hope to the world. It's not hard to find evidence to support the belief that the world continues to get worse. It takes faith to believe otherwise. It takes faith to believe that beyond the headlines God is using people to make the world a better a place.
At this year's Leadership Summit attended by 75 St. Lukers at Grace Church in Carmel (Aug 11-12) we heard Melinda Gates share statistics on the improving rate of poverty and death in the world. The rates of infant deaths have nearly been cut in half in the last 40 years. Are things getting worse? It depends on what news we're listening to.
This Sunday is the fifteenth anniversary of 911. May it be a day not to focus on the influence of terrorism in our world but the difference peace makers make!
See you Sunday,