There are few moments in a preacher's life when she is left speechless. We are trained to listen carefully and then to bring a sense of God's presence as found in our scriptures to any given situation. On the day of 9/11, I was three years into full time ministry and found myself at a lose for words. Tragedy on such a great scale can do that for us all and yet even today I am reminded that when there are no words to explain what we went through and what we continue to remember and return to, God is still present. I am so very grateful for the heros that responded and my prayers remain with the families who have lived 11 years into the lose of life. I am grateful for a country who stands beside those who still mourn and who takes time to bring the flags to half mast and to for a moment stand in solidarity with them in their grief. So 11 years later here are the words that bring me comfort on a day like today.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ... Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:4, 10-11).
"The spirit of the Lord God ... has anointed me; ... to provide for those who mourn in Zion - to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle the praise instead of a faint spirit." (Isaiah 61:1,3)