This date is forever ingrained in our brains.
Over the weekend, I avoided the television programs showing specials about the anniversary of 9-11. We will never forget. I am thankful that we do remember and we do honor the lives lost on that day, but at the same time I find it very difficult to watch the events unfold again. It tears my stomach up.
Saturday evening I did pause for 10 minutes or so to briefly watch the History Channel. I caught a portion of a story about a man who had been rescued from the World Trade Center by a firefighter. His deep gratitude for this hero in his life was so evident. 18 months after the tragic event, he even invited this man that saved his life to be an honored guest at his own daughter’s wedding. Total strangers, now bonded together by a single event in history. As much as I hate the reason why they are now friends, I love hearing about the friendships that develop due to tragedies such as this. Two people, who might never have given each other a second glance on the street, now share an incredible bond.
That is one thing I treasure about relationships. Tragic events have a way of bringing people together. Gratitude for another person’s acts of selflessness pull us together. Words like “thank-you” seem so small and don’t even begin to express how we really feel on the inside.
The man whose life was saved that day said something about the hero in his life that I keep thinking about. “What he did that day…there is no way I can ever repay him.”
Deep gratitude like this is an amazing feeling. I have never had to experience anything like what the people of 9-11 had to endure. I have never been rescued from a building that was just seconds away from collapsing. Nothing has even come to close to this in my life.
But, I have experienced that feeling of deep gratitude for a person whose actions saved my life. A single event in history, one selfless act of love that changed the course of my life. I have uttered those same words of gratitude for the hero in my life. What he did that day… there is no way I can ever repay him.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8: 34-39 MSG)