Sunday, September 12, 2010



That's what I watched early into the morning as the History Channel chronicled the dust and ashes of the heap and hunks of steel beams blasting about in New York City that fateful day of 9/11/01.


Some want to move to recovery fast. Healing, however, takes time.

And, with this unhealed wound, I wonder how long?

Whatever time it takes is OK, nevertheless.

"O my God," echoes out loud with hours of eye-witness video footage of residents who watched the horror unfold before the face of so many.

Dust sprinkled all of them and covered the ground like snow on a wintry white night drizzed with ashes, bones, beams and human beings strewn across the street of Manhattan.

My heart ached, locked as I was into this "man's inhumanity to man," to quote the Detroit-connected Reinhold Neibuhr who defined what is called sin - missing the mark. Pride and pretension are descriptions of sin for Neibuhr.

Arrogance and acting as though any human is the center of the universe, above the Maker.
Pretending to be other than who God made each of us in the beauty each is with the face of God's image and likeness as Genesis notes in the Hebrew Scriptures.

The evil-doers, who claimed they wanted to cleanse themselves from impurity, missed the mark of God's law of love.
They didn't miss the two trade towers, but, they failed miserably in pretending to defend the actions of murder.

My tears poured as I watched, tired as I was, longing for my bed for sleep. I couldn't move as I relived this ninth anniversary of this memorial of murdered Americans (and so many others across the globe daily).

My heart was split apart like the structure tearing apart, metal and steel melting in the extreme heat from the ton of gasoline in the airplanes that bombed the USA that day.

Ashes, dust, and more.

The smell.

A month after 9/11 on foot at the sacred space, the smell of human flesh pervaded my nostrils.

More ache.

Remember, you are dust and into dust you will return.

Those words mark forheads of Christians with ash from burnt palm trees the first day of Lent, called Ash Wednesday. It is the start of the 40-day period of fasting, intense prayer, and almsgiving for believers who join with Jesus the Christ is the passion, suffering, dying, death and rising over 2,000 years ago.

You are dust.

The sacrament of the anointing - final rites - extreme unction - was prayed with victims struggling through the smoke. Priests were everywhere joined with firefighters and police providing comfort to the wounded.
They all were there. The whole world seemed to be there. It was. One globe under God, I thought. One family with some bad apples who committed this unspeakable crime.

Never again! Never, I pray God!

Everyone one of my sisters and brothers were running from the cloud of smoke and the imploding towers.

What's in it for me?

The words of one survivor who was a guest of the Mariott Hotel next to the towers on the fifth floor, say it all:

"I found myself asking have I been all my parents expected me to be," he voiced aloud, as he was certain his death neared when a falling brick showed with smoke from his hotel window.

A review of his life.

An examination of conscience.

He survived.

The questioning, however, follows each of us.

Remember, you are dust and into dust you will return.

Unity, charity and random acts of kindess every day.

What matters most centers suddenly.

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