Remembering…candles in the darkness

In our darkest days…

even then, roses of His loveliness bloom.

           Strangers-turned-comrades, secular and faithful, connect in grief,          in prayer, in hope.

To keep our hearts turned as one, like sailors looking to the Lighthousekeeper, holding close His promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14, seeking Him not only then but…today and always… I share this once again…

decorative line

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 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…

©   Pam Depoyan

     Today, our hearts and prayers  go out to all whose hearts ache

 then and now.

                                          May you know His hope and comfort.

.

Thankful for the gifts

of freedom, prayer and knowing His heart,

His arms ever open to us…

I’m linking with:

Multitudes on Monday

Playdates with God

Gratituesday

On Your Heart Tuesdays

God-Bumps and God-Incidences,

WLWW

Unwrapping His Promises

miscellany monday at lowercase letters
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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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18 Responses to Remembering…candles in the darkness

  1. Lynn Morrissey says:

    Pam, thank you for helping us never to forget what happened and to remember that darkness can never dowse light. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, and headed to our first women’s ministry circle of the year, just as I am doing tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the first day all of us women will gather again in this particular “opening” circle on the eleventh day of September. I am bringing to read to them a poem that I wrote about that horrific day. My poem is filled with its horrors. And yet, threaded throughout, there is the light of Christ. Thank you for helping us always to see the light. Beautiful post!
    Lynn

    • For many reasons I can’t share here, I felt like God put me and my family where we were in that moment, for it had been in the planning for many months… and spoke His own weeping heart to me, his longing to heal and restore us all, no matter who we are. But “roses” still bloomed…and part of that is your women’s ministry. May His light shine from your every word as always… Thank you, Lynn.

  2. Jillie says:

    Dear Pam
    I just wanted to add a thought from this Canadian neighbour on the eve of the day, 11 years ago, that rocked the entire world! I remember how I first heard—I had just turned my T.V. on to our most well-known morning Christian programme…100 Huntley Street…and they were all bowing in prayer for your country. Then they showed the footage of the first tower. Within moments, the second tower. I was stunned, shocked, disbelieving that this was happening, crying. I will NEVER forget it. And I prayed and prayed. Just as I will be praying tomorrow for all of you, and especially for all those who will forever grieve the loss of their loved ones. Your nearest neighbours grieve with you. And remember.

    • Jillie, your words move me deeply… I read a Canadian newsman’s editorial a little while ago that expressed much the same, how Canadians love and appreciate the U.S. in so many ways and he wanted to encourage young Americans to know there is much love for one another, how this country has helped other nations (in some ways even I hadn’t known) … He also spoke of ways Canadians helped in days that followed. Another extraordinary example of connecting as people… I remember watching that morning from a hotel room, honestly thinking… Is this a movie? Then staring in horror. So many other events evoke the same thing (Colorado this year, Norway last year etc) and make me realize how much we need to keep up the prayer. Thank you so much for your heart…sharing in that day’s unimaginable loss as one.

  3. lolitavalle says:

    We will remember and we will always pray for those who became sacrifices for a grieving world, needing the redeemer. Also to the families, who once more, will be in this same situation, this same path… all over again after 11 years.

  4. What a lovely tribute to the day. It’s interesting that what we did on 9/11 is etched on each of our hearts and minds like a frame of life frozen in time. And perhaps that is the gift we can take away from tragedy, the way life stands still and we notice.

    • Yes… maybe it’s kind of like the newly blind who begin to use their other senses more… Suddenly we are thrust into listening and looking and feeling more than usual. Kind of like your photos..freezing a moment. And, sometimes, when looking back at it…seeing something we couldn’t have noticed before.

      Thanks, Shelly.

  5. Janet Roth says:

    Found myself here from seeing your post on Getting Down with Jesus. Love your blog title and the verse in Proverbs! What a beautiful thought that God’s Word is just like that verse says!

  6. Diane says:

    Perfect for another 9/11 anniversary. Thank you, Pam. It is beautifully written!

  7. dukeslee says:

    My heart beats in time with yours … in prayer. Thank you for linking up, and sharing your heartfelt piece of writing with our community.

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