I can remember the morning like it was yesterday morning. Matt was home and there was a nurse coming to our house to obtain some medical information from us for our life insurance policy. My Mom had just called me with an unexplainable voice of concern . She told me to turn on the television. The nurse arrived at our door just moments later and after a very brief greeting, I explained what was happening in New York and the three of us sat on the couch watching everything unfold. It was horrifying.
I don't know anyone personally who died in this tragedy. Not a single person. But that didn't seem to affect the way that the event gripped me. Just 7 months after the attacks, in early April, my husband I traveled to NYC for the day and actually spent some time at the site and the surrounding areas. I tear up even now as I remember the area where "missing people" photographs and memorabilia filled the block by an old church. There were photographs of kids, dads, moms, friends, fiances, grandparents....people just like me. There were stuffed animals set out, blankets, candles lit, and other special items. We walked through the area slowly, reading the notes posted and looking closely at the faces of those missing.
John Piper's words from "The Pleasures of God" helped me to apply sound theology to this event - not in a cold, distant manner and with trite unemotional answers, which I had already attempted to do myself. He helped me to grasp the bigger picture, with joy, peace, and a solid confidence in the character of God. In chapter 2, entitled "The Pleasure of God in All He Does", he shares about the death of his mother in 1974. She was in Israel on a tour bus with her husband when a van with lumber tied on the roof swerved out of its lane and hit the bus head on. The lumber came through the windows and killed his mother instantly. He shares that when they saw her body ten days later, after the funeral home did the best they could, his sister fainted and his father wept over the coffin for a long time.
p.68 "What was my comfort in those days? There were many...and underneath all these comforts, supporting all my unanswered questions, and calming my heart, there is the confidence that God is in control and God is good. I take no comfort from the prospect that God cannot control the flight of a four-by-four. For me there is no consolation in haphazardness. Nor in giving Satan the upper hand. As I knelt by my bed and wept, having received the dreaded phone call from my brother-in-law, I never doubted that God was sovereign over this accident and that God was good. I do not need to explain everything. That he reigns and that he loves is enough for now."
For another great John Piper nugget, check out "The Great Steel Cross."