On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in English class when the boy in front of me (I think his name was David) turned around and exclaimed, “They bombed the World Trade Center!”
I scoffed and said, “No – a plane hit one of the towers by accident. They’re definitely not bombing it.” It was an accident… it had to be.
Before the end of the school day, I ate those words. School let out early that day; students poured into the streets, hurrying home. Your grandparents live on the South Shore of Staten Island, opposite from the side that faces Manhattan but we could still see the smoke that choked the sky.
No one in our family worked there so it didn’t effect me personally, I guess. I remember there were countless posters plastered all over the bus that proclaimed friends and family members “missing.” We all knew they were dead, never to be found in the rubble downtown.
I remember I had ordered a movie poster for “Batteries Not Included” and the seller sent it to me for free because it was “a shame what they did to our beautiful city.”
In the past ten years, I’ve never reflected on 9/11. Today our new pastor, Bob, preached about God, suffering, and tragedy through the book of Job. This is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It’s depressing and raw, but very real. This man had everything – wealth, property, a large family – and in one fell swoop everything was taken from him.
To me, Job’s response represented something that was missing from my life – acknowledgment that God is sovereign. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” – Job 1:21
I can’t imagine losing everything I have, including my family, and being able to accept God’s sovereignty as if everything was okay and in its right place. That is simply incomprehensible. That is great faith.
These are some of my notes from Sunday school today.