“Do you remember where you were when...?” Catastrophes happen in our world, and sometimes they affect us. Remembering is a part of healing. We remember the good times and the bad times, the celebrations and the catastrophes. Remembering is one of the ways we relive and eventually heal from the moments in our lives that cause us pain.
Do you remember where your were on 9/11? I’ll never forget where I was when the catastrophe of 9/11 happened. I was at home with my young son watching TV when the program was interrupted with a new flash. I later learned that a friend of mine had been in the twin towers when the plane hit, and like countless others, he did not survive the attack.
Each year, I remember my friend and his family as the anniversary approaches, and I say a prayer for his family and the many other families who lost loved ones that day either in the attacks or in the brave attempts to rescue survivors. It’s a day I will never forget, so it’s hard to believe that a time will come when 9/11 will only be an event in the history books, and those who remember first-hand the lives lost that day will be have faded into the past. A day will come when people will forget.
For major events, history books are a way of remembering, of thinking of those things that happened long before our time. The Bible is also a history of God’s activity in the lives of people long ago. One of the prophets of old, Isaiah was to relay messages to the people much like pastors do today. Sometimes the messages were about things that would happen in the future, but many times, the prophet’s job was to remind the people of who they were and of whose they were. Isaiah was given the message to remind the people that they were God’s people, and that God had delivered them from oppression on many occasions. The message of God to the people was “Remember.”
The message today is still the same. Pastors remind people to remember all that God has done throughout history and in our own lives. Remember the times when God saw you through the storm of 9/11. Remember the time when Christ’s peace was with you in the midst of a personal crisis or the death of a friend or family member. Tell the stories to your children and your grandchildren.
As we remember 9/11, let us be encouraged by the words of John Wesley, that in the storms of life, “The best of all, God is with us.”
What stories can you tell of God’s faithfulness and grace to you during a crisis? Share those stories with others so that they can be reminded of God’s presence in their own lives.
Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.