Remembering…candles in the darkness

Candle burningSeptember 12, 2001

Sitting in the 2,500-seat theater that evening, I could sense a subdued daze over the audience. Most of us had planned for this night months ahead, traveled wearying-long distances and days to be here at this moment in time.  Never imagining.  Yet, like a shell-shocked family, stunned with news of a loved one’s anguished death thousands of miles away… we wondered if we should be here now…

The lights around us dimmed.  Strains of Moon River floated out over the auditorium, fading away as he quietly walked out to center stage. Holding up his hand to stay the applause, he opened up to us as host to his guests, sorrowing American to American.

“In view of the tragic events of yesterday,” he enjoined, “I’d like to take a moment with you to reflect on what has happened…”

He spoke emotively of our hearts and prayers going out first and utmost to the grieving families… Of taking comfort and hope in knowing our country would not allow this event or such heinous acts to go by the wayside…that we would continue to shine a light of freedom around the world.

Then… softly… he turned us to the only One who can bring radiance into deepest darkness.

“With your permission – I’m sure you’ll want to do this – ” he said, looking out across the rows.  “I’d like to take just a moment to pray for the victims and their families –           and... our country.”

All around me, heads bowed, hands wiped away tears.

Decorative Letter Set A clip artA simple prayer…

Dear Father, allow these events to strengthen our country.  Let them be a catalyst… to put an end to terrorism.  Allow the lives lost in this tragedy to   find eternal peace… O God, bless America…

Decorative Letter Set A clip art    A unique moment…

…In wondrous oneness with so many strangers.  Never before had I really known what it meant to be so part of this country, true neighbors invested in concern and sorrow, one for the anonymous other.

I’d been feeling it all along the road as we’d continued on our vacation the day before… passed flag after flag hurriedly rigged up in cars beside us, sign after sign blooming like flower wreaths marking a site of remembrance, invoking prayer for our nation. Voices reaching across all lines, in one heart, one sorrow, one grace.  Looking heavenward together…

Now, breathing in the night’s music…savoring the camaraderie and beautiful voices that alternately brought smiles and mist to our eyes… a growing warmth and awareness enfolded me.  That all over the world in this dark time – in different ways and comfort tailored for each individual – God was writing hope.

There in a secular theater, for me and those around me,  it was with common hearts turned to prayer… Spirit-led upon a renown entertainer’s heart… and healing through music.  For just such as a time as this…

In the terror-struck areas, it was with extraordinary people risking their own lives to help, to embrace, to weep with those who wept…

A starry backdrop appeared across the stage in parting that night… Violins taking up the tender melody to the bittersweet words he sang out over us…  Smile, though your heart is breaking… One by one, voices softly joined in, lumps in throat.  Candles of light…glowing for hearts across the land…

And I found my soul whispering… as so many others must have during those grief-numbed days – Lord, sustain this heart of millions turning towards you.  Comfort and hold us all – especially those hurting most over the next days, months and years.  And keep leading us out of darkness to You…

     Today, our hearts and prayers  go out to Norway.

                                          May you know His hope and comfort.


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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6 Responses to Remembering…candles in the darkness

  1. Diane says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! You do engage, encourage, and inspire through your words, through your heart. Yes, our prayers go for Norway.

  2. Thanks, Diane! I hoped you’d feel that way…especially since you are from NY. I tried to submit something about this story once to a Christian magazine published from NY, but they reacted somewhat like I was trivializing the event. Not my intent at all. I just see how God put me there in that moment…for many reasons…and how moving it was to see how He was speaking into hearts in that place and time (as He always is).

  3. MaryLou says:

    Hi Pam, once again your words were so beautiful and I could picture this special evening for you and so many others. Many people say how can you believe God exists just look at this world so filled with heartache and pain… my answer to these people is how can you live in this painful world and not believe in a God that not only exists but is a God of compassion & love. Thank you for sharing this special evening. 🙂

  4. Thanks MaryLou! Yes… what would we do without His heart for us!

  5. Diane says:

    I just re-read this post after reading all your other posts about Andy. What a memorable evening! What a memorable man! “Smile though your heart is breaking”…I need to listen to that and have a good cry. Andy’s melodious voice always made me cry when I listened to this song.

  6. Yes, nothing better than a good cry at the beauty of a song! 🙂 Touches the soul…

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