Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Not Supposed To Be This Way


Ten years have passed, but the tears and heartache linger. TV is full of the images both past and present. The radio airwaves carry the same tale of grief and woe. Friday I listened to a woman talk about the plans she and her husband had on the day before 9-11. "It wasn't supposed to be this way," she said, "we had plans for our life together."
So much changed that September day. So many lives were shaken to their very foundations. So much so that people are still trying to find their way through it, ten years later.
Why did this have to happen? Why didn't someone know? Why couldn't someone have stopped it? Why didn't my loved one come home? It wasn't supposed to be this way.
The plans for 9-11 began far before anyone named Bin Laden was born. The chain of events started long ago, in a garden called Eden, when man and woman made their choice. It didn't take long for that choice to cost more than a father could bear. Cain killed his brother Abel because he was angry - because he could. Abel's blood cried out to God from the ground. Adam and Eve cried out, "Why?"
My heart, like millions of Americans, is filled with emotions this weekend. Watching the images again brings the horror closer than I want it to be. And remembering the first anniversary, when they read the names - 

Oh...My... God
They read, one after the other, name after name. I couldn't help but think how hard this must be for them. Just to be there. Just to be among so many people hurting, grieving, remembering. To be on a podium in front of the world, to concentrate on getting the names right must be a terrible task.
At the end of the group being read, a young woman stiffens visibly, and it's as if you can see a chill run through her frame as she wills herself to say.... "and my Father...."  .

Oh... it hurts Lord. It hurts.
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
But it is. 

And it has been for a long long time. 

My only source of solace, and my only sure sense of strength comes in knowing that God hates it too. That it was Him whose heart cried out to Cain, "What have you done? Listen--your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground!"
God hears. When those He lovingly created destroy each other, He hears. Not in a second-hand whisper, or within an echo of pain. Grief shouts to Him, cries out to him. And He hears.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. But it is. 

And so...
As we remember by reading the names of our loved ones, God adds one more...
"and My Son Jesus." 
For He is a victim of our sins. Yet in His love, God willingly paid that price. He gave us Jesus. The Truth. The Life. And the Way.
John 3:16 (The Message)
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
He did that so people could find their way home - out of darkness - out of terror - out of fear - out of grief - out of heartache - out of rage. 

He calls out the name. "And My Son, Jesus."

As the planes hit the towers, and we in our horror said, "it wasn't supposed to be this way", God was calling to the husband who wouldn't make it home, "This way. Come to Me"
As the heroes of the day streamed up the stairs while others fled down, some never reached the floors they intended to, but God said "This way. Come to me."
As men and women who had planned America's battles found themselves in a fire fight they could not win, a voice called out to them, "This way. Come home to Me."
An airplane in the wrong hands struck earth in a Pennsylvania field far short of its intended destination. Yet God called out to those who were aboard, "This way. Come to Me."
We don't have to wonder where God was that day. 

 Within the terror, throughout the smoke, in the midst of the worst man could do to man, He was calling to His children, "This way. This way." 

He was calling them home.
It wasn't supposed to be this way, but it is. We cannot be sure something like 9-11 won't ever happen again. But before it could happen, we can help people find God - find the One who knows the pain and heartache we face - help them find the Way. Don't wait friends. Don't wait.
"This way"  - He's calling today. "This way to life." 


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