Today is the 11th anniversary of what we call, 9/11. There really are only a few dates in history that one can mention and most everyone has an idea of what you’re talking about. It is interesting, though, that us who were “aware” enough have some pretty deep feeling about 9/11, but there are also those who are young and have to rely on our (and others) accounts of the day to be able to form their own opinions and feelings. Aside from the horrific affects the acts of that day had on humankind (and I am by NO means trivializing them!), there are a few feelings and observations I do recall.

First of all, I actually felt the presence of “Evil” that day. We use that word, evil, somewhat loosely at times. But I used Evil because the acts of that day went beyond many other acts of evil that we have experienced in our life times. Those who lost their lives that day weren’t (for the most part) military folks. They were Bob, and Catherine, and Lucinda, who went to work to pay bills, feed their family, sell a policy. They didn’t make “headlines” prior to that day, except in the lives of their daughters or sons or moms or dads. And those sons and daughters and moms and dads later wandered the streets of New York with pictures asking if anyone had seen their loved ones. Many of their prayers were not answered that day.

And then there were the police and firefighters, the public servants. Their day may have started with, for the police, a robbery or a traffic citation. And the firefighters may have had to put out a housefire, or administer CPR to a heart attack victim. Those were the type of situations they were trained for. But on 9/11, they were called to rush into buildings that had been blown up and were collapsing. And they were called to rescue Bob, and Catherine, and Lucinda before they burned up or jumped out of the 200th floor window. That is why I am using the term, Evil.

And then there was the question of where God was on that Day of Evil. Why didn’t He step in and defeat Evil that day? Why didn’t He save Bob, and Catherine, and Lucinda on that Day of Evil? The shortest verses in the bible is in John 11:35. I won’t go into the whole story of that chapter, but the verse goes, “Jesus wept.” Think about that for just a moment. God, in human form, wept. Didn’t shed a tear. Didn’t whimper. But wept! The “book” definition of wept is, “To express grief or anguish for. To weep bitter tears of remorse.” And a definition of “remorse” is bitter regret. To me, I feel Jesus was leading those policemen/women and firefighters up those smokey stairwells, up towards Bob, and Catherine, and Lucinda. All the while, with tears streaming down His cheeks because He knew the fate of all of them. And some of them would not make it back down. But He also was with the hundreds, maybe even the thousands that were saved that day. The ones who did get out of those burning, collapsing buildings. The ones who got a flat tire, or missed their bus or subway, or had a cold and couldn’t go to the intersection of Liberty St and Church St. on the Day of Evil.

Max Lucado said it pretty well, regarding that 9/11, “Our false sense of security has been rocked!” Church attendence sky rocketed after the Day of Evil. People who wouldn’t normally go to church, went and asked for prayer, and asked why something like this would happen, could happen, in a country such as ours. But then, when the wounds began to heal, life started to “relax” once again. Oh sure, there are many bumper stickers and flags being waived and shirts being worn. But what many consider to be “normal”, returned. Church attendence went back to “normal”. Our sports team played so that we would get back to “normal”. The politicians asked us to start shopping and “living” again. And 9/11 became part of history. And Jesus wept.