Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reflections on 9/11 - A Moment of Grace

September 11, 2001 - I think of it as the JFK assassination of our generation. Who doesn't remember where they were when they heard?

In 2001, I was a stay-at-home mom of four little ones ages 1, 3, 5 and 9. I was a part-time bookkeeper for our insurance agency and actively involved in leading women's ministry at s small church of around 200. My life was busy, but safe.

On the morning of 9/11, I was about my normal routine. Still in pajamas and robe, I was cleaning up breakfast in the kitchen when the images began to come across the tv in the living room. I remember Mark calling me to come see. At that point the first tower was smoking. I remember trying to guard my children while wanting to openly gape at the tragedy. Once the first tower fell, I'm sure I did what millions of us did - I began to make calls. I wanted to know that my own loved ones were safe.

My daddy answered the phone, which was unusual because he was normally at work around 7 am. Turns out it was his day off and he and my mom were hard at work on some project around the house. I told him about what was going on and he turned on their TV. We shared our disbelief at what was happening and spent about 20 minutes reassuring each other that all was well. At the end we said I love you and hung up.

That was the last time I spoke to my daddy. Seven days later he suffered a massive brain aneurysm and within a few hours, slipped from this earth.

9/11 holds not only a horrific memory, but also a precious one for me. I am forever grateful that in the midst of attack and tragedy, I had a moment that would grace me for years to come.

I pray with a special compassion for those who lost their loved ones on that awful day. I feel somewhat related to them, as my own loss was near to theirs. I do not imagine that my loss is as difficult, and realize that I am blessed because I do not mourn as those who have no hope.

Collectively, as the CHURCH, we weep for the work of forgiveness that must be done in each of us and pray that those who are left to pick up the pieces would find the same grace and comfort in the arms of Jesus as we rest in each day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Journal Post from Israel - The Western Wall

May 11, 2010

Now it our time at the Western Wall. 3/4ths for men. 1/4th for women. The men are doing Bar Mitzvah's. The women stand on plastic chairs and peak over a divider to watch their sons and husbands execute a tradition at least 2,000 years old. The men sing. Take pictures. Read the scrolls. Proud daddies. Many men gather to encourage and embrace the youngest among them.

On the women's side there is mass prayer and mass chaos. As we approach the wall there is only a tiny spot for us. They have pulled their chairs to the wall and filled in all the holes. I wonder if they are offended by our "gentile" and "Christian" efforts to honor their prayer wall.

We hold back, our written prayers in hand, waiting for our turn only to find there is no "turn". No personal space here. I hesitate as the woman beside me is in travail - angst, weeping, rubbing the wall, babbling. I don't want to interfere. MJ waves me on. I step up. Tuck my prayer in a crack and place my hands and face on the wall.

I wait. I seek. No real prayer rises to my lips. I acknowledge the sanctity of this place, but don't find answers here. I step back and another steps up. When done, we back out. You don't turn your back on the wall.

I am struck again by all the effort made to come to a place to meet with Him. I am convicted of my laziness. Too tired to get on my knees, when they will trek miles for one time, or one day at the wall. Some make the journey everyday. I am impressed with their reverence, respect, diligence and effort, but saddened for them because there is no power in the wall. All the power lies in acceptance of the very one they seek...