Friday, September 9, 2011

Beauty From The Ashes

The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country has created a flurry of TV shows, magazine articles, and news broadcasts that have us reliving that terrible day.  I don't know about you, but my husband and I find ourselves experiencing many of the same emotions we had on Sept. 9th and after, and in many ways it is physically and emotionally draining.  My heart is heavy for those who lost loved ones in NYC, the Pentagon, or the field in PA.  It must be so difficult for them to move on from an event that changed not only their lives, but the lives of our country...the world.
Six months after the terrorist attacks, Joel and our son Matt went to NYC to participate in a national gathering of Lutheran pastors who wanted to show their support.  Our synod asked Joel to be a representative for our synod, speaking with and preaching at a congregation in the New York area. Hundreds of clergy joined together in worship with the people of NYC and then were sent out to churches.  Not only were they able to show support and listen to congregational members tell their stories, but they were able to give overburdened pastors some time off. Needless to say, this was an experience that Joel and our son will never forget.  They both felt blessed to be able to participate.

As time passed a couple of the people Joel met would email him and share what was going on in their lives ~ how they were finding joy once again as they walked  through tough, tough times. We have also watched others share their stories of finding joy once again this past week.  It reminded me so much of the verse in Isaiah 61:3~

"To all who mourn in Zion
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes
a joyous blessing instead of mourning
festive praise instead of despair."

Watching the news coverage once again of the towers falling, the Pentagon burning, and the scorched field in PA, I cannot help but lift this verse up as a prayer for all those who were personally touched by this horrific event.  God keeps his promises, and I pray this day for all those who mourn...May they all have beauty now for those ashes ten years ago...may they be blessed with joy instead of mourning...

Amen and Amen..

Stop over and visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays to read encouraging posts or link up your own.


Sarah (Nikki) said...

Renee...this is so well said and that verse is perfect.

Lisa notes... said...

I know it's going to be a really hard day for families with losses... Praying for all.

Pain to Purpose said...

I know what you mean, it surely does bring back all those emotions of grief, shock, confusion, and an overwhelming sadness. I agree, perfect scripture!

Renee said...

Such a beautiful and encouraging verse. Thanks so much for sharing it and the story! God bless you.

Pamela said...

Beauty for ashes. I hope those closely affected by the tragedy have found the beauty. My arms of prayer are around them today.


Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

Thank you for sharing your sweet family memories of this difficult time in our nation and in our families. You might be interested in a book I just read about 9/11 with several stories of the Lutheran pastors and staff members who helped so much after it occurred. Life Is Too Short: Stories of Transformation and Renewal after 9/11 by Wendy Stark Healy :) Have a blessed week.

Charlotte said...

What a blessing for Joel and Matt to be able to participate in the healing. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

How blessed your family was to have been in NYC to serve the families in need.
Beauty for ashes--a great prayer for all those who have lost so much. And for our country in general.


Laurie Collett said...

May God be with all the families of those lost in this tragedy. I believe Jeremiah 29:11 is an inspiring verse highly relevant to 9/11, and God had led me to use it in my blog post on 9/11 also! Your blog is a blessing -- I will follow, and I invite you to follow mine also, Saved by Grace ( Love in Him, Laurie Collett

Crystal Mary said...

I couldn't agree more Rene. So terribly hard for all on that day. Life goes on and sometimes it seems so unfair. And Beauty for Ashes is what is needed. xx

Charlotte said...

Hi Renee. About the widget with the birds. You should be able to replace the code on the old one with the code you get by clicking at the bottom of the new one and getting the code for that one. If that doesn't work I would just delete the old one completely and then install the new one. Do you have the old one that has the ads on it?
Hugs & blessings,

Charlotte said...

I had to come back and see if the birds were still hanging around. Glad they're gone. Your blog looks beautiful.