Like the rest of you, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news 11 years ago today. I was an ocean away in Africa. And all I wanted was to get back home to New York. We lost a family friend that day. Michael had dreamed of being an FDNY fireman since he was a toddler. Nine months after he aced his exams and joined, his company—Ladder 132—was one of the first to reach the scene on September 11th.
He chased his dream right into the South Tower.
Today, I pause again to remember. With chills. With tears. With a lump in my throat. I remember.
And with burning eyes clenched shut, I am forced again to wrestle with the goodness of God.
I can't acknowledge His goodness and grace only in those situations that work out well. So today—with trembling hands, a shaky voice, and mustard seed faith—I also acknowledge that the same grace that was present with the survivors, was present with those who passed.
Grace was right there in the Twin Towers.
It filled the streets. It permeated the buildings more thickly than the smoke. It sunk to the depths of the rubble. It surrounded, upheld, and carried all those who lived, all those who died, all those who lost loved ones.
The passage from Ecclesiastes keeps going through my mind. "For everything there is a season..." And I can't help but also think: For every season there is a grace.
Grace reigned that day 11 years ago, despite the atrocities and the loss and the fear and the heartache.
And grace reigns still.