Finding a Light in the 9-11 Darkness

September 11, 2001, will live in infamy as one of America's darkest hours, but it can also be one of her brightest if we're willing to do what's necessary.
Workers pray under one of the crosses discovered at Ground Zero.
Workers pray under one of the crosses discovered at Ground Zero.

In 2001, Americans watched in shock as airplanes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon, we watched as those towers collapsed, spreading dust, dirt, and debris throughout Lower Manhattan.

Not long after, word went out that the Pentagon had been hit, and the suffering and pain mounted. Then Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard. Nearly three thousand Americans lost their lives in a matter of few hours.

All this suffering surrounded us. Shock, fear gripped a nation. Hell seemed to come to the United States in a fury, and God seemed absent. Where was the Divine among such horror and pain? Darkness gripped the hearts of men and women, shrouding the nation with uncertainty and fear. Within that darkness, God made Himself known once again, shining a light of hope in the middle of disaster.

As rescue workers entered the fallen debris of World Trade Center Building 6, they discovered a giant chasm resembling an “amphitheater” or “cathedral.” In the middle of this vacancy stood four crosses. Suddenly there was a serenity, a peace, a light of hope in the midst of the darkness. God revealed his presence in that room which visitors dubbed “God’s House.” The story of the cross and the towers is best told by those who witnessed this divine event.

Those men and women learned that, even in the darkest of times, God remains. God is faithful even in tragedy. Even when men commit the most evil acts of violence and terror against their fellow man, God remains faithful. Nearly three thousand lost their lives on 9-11, but two thousand years ago, one man laid down his life to save those who put their faith in him. Jesus came to the earth to die, and three days later to be raised again. All those who confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in their hearts that God raised him from the dead will be saved!

But the story of September 11 doesn’t end with collapsing buildings and a metal cross. It continues today in the lessons America learned from that day and the weeks thereafter. Many of those lessons were, however, forgotten as time moved on, and we became more separated from that tragic day. We must rediscover them and reignite our faith, hope, and love.

About John L. Rothra
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