Tuesday, September 11, 2012

how God feels, today.

As soon as I woke up this morning I saw it- the posts about 9/11 were starting to pour into peoples' status updates.  I don't mind this.  In fact, I think it's good to remember that day.  All of us remember where we were that day, what happened, and how we felt when we saw those planes fly into the World Trade Center buildings.

It has been 11 years, now, and those images are still fresh in our minds.  

I want to suggest, though, something that I haven't seen in too many facebook posts, at least not yet, and not among my non-clergy friends.  It's a reality I think about often, but rarely suggest to others for fear of sounding pious or rude.  But, I figure on a day like today it's appropriate, and so I'll put it out there.  

On a day like today, when we remember those who died as victims, those firefighters and police officers who worked tirelessly for days in the rubble, and those who served in the war(s) following, should we remember, as well, how God felt on that day? how God has felt everyday since? how God, herself, remembers today?

This isn't a political question, or even a theological one, really.  It's just a table-turning kind of question. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that I am grateful to live in a country where many freedoms I enjoy everyday are protected.  But, I guess, that's not really the point of this post.

When inconceivable violence and evil occur in the world; when hatred evolves to such a level as terrorism; when extremist attack is followed by war; how does it make God feel?  And, is it important to reflect and pray upon this very question?  Would it make a difference if, in addition to remembering all the things we remember on this day, we also remember the way God felt as he saw his people- all his people- die such a horrible, tragic death? the way God felt when he saw what we could do to each other? 

My guess is that there are varying opinions out there on who God's people are, and I really don't want to get into that, here.  But, what I will say is this: I don't think God pays too much attention to human-made borders.  I don't think God separates his children by country, or by the governments that run them.  And, for that reason, I believe on 9/11/01, and in the days after, God wept for all humanity.  God knew what would happen in the days to come, and the pain that God felt, that God took onto his very self, was the pain of every human being in the entire world.  

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart." Genesis 6:5-6

God grieves.  And, we should remember that.

But, I'm guessing that there have been glimpses of hope that God has seen, as well.  And, we should remember that, too.  For God does promise a world of the future, where days like 9/11 will be a distant memory for us, and for him, as well.  These words from Isaiah 2 have been a promise for centuries- let's live into them and into the Kingdom of God, for God's sake and our own.

"There's a day coming when the mountain of God's House Will be The Mountain - solid, towering over all mountains. All nations will river toward it, people from all over set out for it.  They'll say, "Come, let's climb God's Mountain, go to the House of the God of Jacob. He'll show us the way he works so we can live the way we're made." Zion's the source of the revelation. God's Message comes from Jerusalem.  He'll settle things fairly between nations. He'll make things right between many peoples. They'll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into hoes. No more will nation fight nation; they won't play war anymore.  Come, family of Jacob, let's live in the light of God." Isaiah 2 (The Message)

I'll leave you with a video someone posted on Facebook this morning.  I love Cantus, anyways, but this hymn in particular is perfect for today.  It's called The Finlandia Hymn by Jean Sibelius.  It's beautiful.  Here are the lyrics:  
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
                                                a song of peace for their land and for mine.

Peace, friends.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts. A wonderful way to put things in perspective!