Fatherhood Tested – A 9/11 Response
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
“There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.” - Victor Hugo
This is something I wrote ten years just days after the tragedy of 9/11. Like many Americans I struggled for meaning in the midst of overwhelming grief. I wrote and shared through the lens of fatherhood…that’s where it hit me the most. Today I pray for all the families that lost loved ones that horrible September day.
I’ve been struggling for words lately. As there is some distance (time wise) from the events of September 11th, I’m afraid for me (and many others) there isn’t much in the form of distance for my emotional response. My heart breaks when I read the stories of those who lost ones in the tragedies on the ground and in the air. I look in on the peaceful sleeping figures of my children at night and wonder what emotions are in the heart of parents who lost children that terrible day. I make vows to appreciate more, to worry less and yet fell guilty when “normal life” invades my space and I forget for the moment that evil took normal and shoved it down the throats of America. The stories of courage and sacrifice amaze me and make me realize that such stories have always been part of our country and of the Church.
We are a people awakened to a great evil; we find ourselves challenged to have courage and the spirit of sacrifice in all we do from this day forward. The father in me has been slapped awake with the great loss of fathers, and what fathers have lost in the measured madness that was sent our way. The desire to protect, shelter and nurture my children has strengthened in its urgency, but also growing is the sense to prepare them for a world completely different that I grew up in. There is great reason to hope, our Father God is sovereign and is committed to his sons. The guidance we need to be the strong fathers our families (and our nation) need is there for the asking. We will be challenged as providers, as leaders, as comforters, as men of action and as men of faith.
Our fatherhood will be shaped by trials and difficult times, we will need to believe fervently in what the Father says and then obey Him with the tenacity of committed men.
It’s what our families needs…it’s what our nation needs.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (4) who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4