How do you grieve loss on such a grand scale?
Those were the first words I wrote in my journal on the evening of September 11, 2001.
I don’t remember anything else I wrote.
It’s been fourteen years since that day that I felt our country would never be the same.
As a flight attendant, my first thoughts that day were of the crew members who boarded the plane that morning as if it were a normal day. I couldn’t begin to imagine the horrors they had faced.
Fast-forward to 2015.
A couple of days after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November, I searched for something to watch on TV on Sunday afternoon during my kids’ nap. I settled on a documentary about United flight 93 that I hadn’t seen before. United 93 was one of four airplanes that were hijacked on September 11, 2001 and used as weapons.
I assumed I had randomly chosen it.
After I watched it, however, I felt a sense from the Lord that it was not so random.
That documentary revived some of the feelings I felt on that day in 2001 and continued to feel for years after. Although we as a country vowed to “never forget”, the passage of time had allowed the acute pain of that day to diminish.
In the wake of what happened in Paris on November 13th, I think it’s important that we remember how we felt on 9/11.
Because that is how the French feel now.
It might be easy to dismiss the events of that night as not being as “big of a deal” as what we went through in 2001.
We might think, well, France didn’t lose nearly the number of people we lost. They didn’t have to watch harrowing images of buildings collapsing to the ground or an airplane crashing into the Pentagon.
However, France is a much smaller country than the United States (roughly the size of Texas). Imagine multiple mass killings around the state of Texas.
These scattered and calculated attacks have had a devastating effect on the French people.
Does God want to use this tragedy to stir up a deep hunger and need in the hearts of the French for the One whose heart yearns for oneness with them?
If so, how will France respond?
How did we respond after 9/11?
I feel led to pray that these events will stir up a hunger in the hearts of the French people to intimacy with the living God, and not just a thirst for revenge on the enemy.
A hunger that lasts…
Will you do more than just change your profile pic for a few weeks? Will you pray for God to bring healing to the French nation that comes through a renewed relationship with Him?
Will you pray that hunger will be stirred up in your own heart?
[Image courtesy flickr]