is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Presence of the Lord

I don't know about y'all, but today has been a tough one. I have stayed in my bed, hugged my pillow and cried like a baby.  Indeed, I have gone to the garden today, to be alone with my thoughts as I recall the morning of September 11th and I remember how frightened I was that my son and his family could have been on one of those planes.  

I think about my mother, father and sister and find myself strangely comforted that they had passed from this Life by September 11 of 2001, and so their worst historical memory/homeland nightmare remained buried at sea at Pearl Harbor.  

After hearing the news on the radio, I watched the news on television with the rest of my office as the second plane hit the second tower.  I went home at lunch that morning and turned on my VCR so the news coverage would be forever in my memory.  

I still have that tape; I have never watched it or wanted to watch it. I simply cannot bring myself to witness the agony of the innocents.  Not again.

Also on my mind are the ones left behind by 9/11, by the events and wars that followed...the father, mother, wife, husband, sibling, children of anyone who lost their life that day, that terrible day, how they must re-live the incident every year when calendar rolls around to that day.   This year being the 10th anniversary has not been easy on us, not easy at all. 

Surprisingly, my mind is on Saddam Hussein and Osama bin-Laden. One was executed on my birthday; the other on my granddaughter's. I feel badly for their families and those who loved them. Surely it cannot be easy to endure the loss of a loved one, no matter what the circumstances.

On my thoughts also are those in foreign lands who have little or no hope; the mother, sister, daughter in third world countries who have no rights to decide their own future, for they will live in poverty and oppression. 

There are a lot reasons to reflect today, some have made me cry, some have made ashamed of my own dust and sin. I wanted to share an anthem the Chancel Choir sings from time to time, it was produced just a short while after the events at Virginia Tech several years ago, and the choir from Berea College sang this song there, and all around the world.   I think singing songs of peace and hope is the best way we can help heal not only others, but ourselves as well.  here are the words:  

When trials come,
friends fail,
and the heavens appear as brass;

When earth appears as iron, 
when all hope is gone.

Hold on, 
stand still,
and you will see the 
face of God; the holy
Presence Shekinah
will lead you across

Hold on through the storm,
our God will comfort and restore you.

The Presence of the Lord will go with you.

Hold on,
stand still,
our God will go before you.

Hold on, the Lord divine will
comfort and guide you. 

Hold on,
the Lord
will comfort and restore you.

The Presence of the Lord will go with you.

God will go before you,
always watching oe'r you,
You will see the face of God.

The Presence of the Lord,
the Presence of the Lord,
will go with you.  

Earlene Rentz wrote the music shortly after the incident at Virginia Tech a few years ago; Berea College founding father John Fee the words over 100 years ago.  It was written for Berea College Concert Coir, Berea, Kentucky.

...and here's a prayer:  

Almighty God,
too often we forget your promise.
We live in ways that bring glory only to ourselves,
We bask in the false assumption
that we are in control of our lives.
Sometimes we want to tamper with the lives
of those around us for our own ends.
help us to love our neighbors as ourselves
and to serve you more faithfully each day.

with much love and a heavy liberal, bleeding heart,
I as you to pray for peace, people everywhere.

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