It’s often asked what were you doing on September 11. I remember the day well. I had come out of the hallway and heard the TV say a plane had flown into the twin towers. Without giving it much thought – I continued into the kitchen to make myself a cuppa and snack. Sitting on the couch I was in shock as I watched the events of the day unfold before me.
During the day I became distressed with the destruction and loss of life that was being reported. My heart was crying out Lord have mercy! In the days and weeks that followed, like many other Australians our conversations were based around the horrific acts of destruction and loss. They were filled with tales of awe as we spoke about the heroic acts that saved more lives from being lost, the rescue teams, every one pitching together to help each other.
Yet – I was also questioning was Gods hand of judgement against America and the world through, in and over this destruction. A few short weeks before I had seen a documentary about Afghanistan and how the Taliban had continued its tribal purging and pushed over 2 million Afghanistan people into a refugee camp into a border of Pakistan. The documentary showed that neither Pakistan nor the Taliban would allow aid of any kind into this camp of 2 million people and the little aid that was there had to be smuggled in.
I fell to the floor with an intense intercessory pain where I was begging the Lord to do something for these people. Surely I cried out to the Lord, its not your intention to allow these people to die. For you to allow 2 million people to die. This intercessory burden was on me for a number of weeks and it lifted a few days before Sept 11 and I felt the Lord whisper into my inner being that he was going to help those people.
And shortly after Sept 11 the Bush administration said they were going to go into Afghanistan by force, that they would take human aid into that keep and bring freedom to those 2 million people held in captivity. I can’t imagine what 2 million people look like. What does that number of people living in sub prime conditions look like? Little food, little water, little shelter. But they were and so over the next weeks and months we watched as armed forces and the united nations moved into that camp bringing a measure of relief and sustenance into the lives of those people.
Sept 11 raises more questions for me than I have answers. The world could have stepped in and helped those people before Sept 11 happened. If they did, would the twin towers episode have happened. Would the world powers have stepped in and helped those 2 million people if the attacks on Sept 11 never happened and that day was a normal day like any other – for those living in stable nations. Did God allow Sept 11 to happen, was it his hand of judgement on the nations – for certainly the twin towers represent globalisation.
These are questions that I don’t know how to answer and indeed are questions that I’m not sure I really want to answer. And indeed in trying to answer any of these questions without sounding glib is impossible. And so these questions remain hanging, with no real answers as to why. And the gnawing of confusion, hurt and pain lingers on.
Today its September 11 in Australia. I propose that we not only remember Sept 11 as a day of remembering what happened in America. I propose that its a day that we remember all through out the world who are suffering from the affects of war and terrorism. That today is a day where we reflect that war and terrorism is no longer out of sight and out of mind; rather that on a global scale we too, have been and are and will continue to be affected by it. ..and may the question always be with us, what is happening elsewhere in the world and what can we do to help in those situations.
And within this framework I say…let us all pray for all, for all have been affected.