I remember receiving an assignment in high school english called, “Where were you?” In this assignment, we had to call a neighbor or grandparent, or just someone who could recall where they were when JFK was killed. We had to interview our source and then write a paper based on their perception of the event. So I called my Grandma St.Germain. She recalled the event with amazing detail, THIRTY years after it had happened. She knew just what she was doing, her emotions, the people she was with. Most importantly, her reaction. And it didn’t take much of a prompt to tell her story. It was like it happened yesterday. It’s funny, as I sat in my mom’s living room 10 years ago, watching 9/11 playout, I remember looking at Chloe and thinking, this is it. This is the “Where were you?” that my grandchildren will be calling me about. She will learn about this in her history book. What a strange feeling to know that you have been witness to something your children will only read about in a book.
I was twenty one and Chloe was only 18 months. I had been a Christian for just about the same amount of time. David and I had been married for three years. I remember this particular week being very peculiar as a friend of mine had a husband diagnosed with cancer in the same week. They were only in their mid 30’s. It was the first time that I had known someone “not old” with cancer. Then, the horrific events of 9/11 occurred just days later. I remember just being in shock. Wanting to do something to make a difference, but not having the first clue as to what that was. I felt very selfish. Up to this point, life was really only about me. I wanted to grow up and did not have the first clue about how to even begin in that process. When 9/11 hit, where were you?
The question, “Where were you?” has blown up facebook today. It gives us a chance to remember, a chance to share, a chance to heal. But a big question that always occurs in the face of tragedy goes to God.
We sometimes, in times of trial, have the odasity to ask, “God, where were you?” Were you one of those people? I was not. I was in too much shock to even ask. I was barely aware of God’s presence in my life, let alone a situation as tragic as 9/11. Yet, even when I was not looking for him, he showed his face. I remember listening to President Bush encouraging a mourning nation to pray. Courageous people who stepped up to death’s door to make sure someone else could have life. My Pastor on our local radio station, sharing the verse, “The Lord is my refuge and strength, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Little by little, the walls of the political correctness fell right along with the twin towers, and God came in to help begin the healing of a nation.
Today, are questioning God’s presence in your life? Do you feel like he is overlooking you in your current situation? I leave you with a verse that was a blessing to me this morning:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9