Tuesday, September 12, 2006

11th of September.

When Laurel and I first took up residence at our apartment, we had a 'debate' about whether or not the view from our apartment looked on downtown NYC. I said 'no'. She said 'yes'. Anyway, after I apologised (she was right) we began to speculate whether, on September 11 2001, a previous tenant could have viewed the demise of the Twin Towers from our apartment. Tonight, we found out. These beams of light are confirmation that the Towers were a companion of previous residents. This photo was taken 10 minutes ago from a window in our apartment.

The four of us were downtown by 8:46am. We came up out of the ‘4’ Express Train at Wall St at 8:30am. Laurel remarked that if we were working that day, we would have made it to our desk by 8:46am. A sobering thought. There was not much to see today. There were a lot of people. The value of being there from my perspective was to pray with some gravitas about the world that we live in. I found these thoughts to be helpful for me tonight.

We spent some time at a playground near the WTC site (Pic of The Girl). We enjoyed spending time with a friend called Heidi. Heidi was there on September 11th. She had only just settled from Germany one week before the attacks. She said that she reminds herself to be thankful to God that these events drew her to Jesus. She needed answers after 9/11, and found them in Christ. I have had lot of conversations with people who were downtown that day and came out with their lives spared.

The Boy doesn't yet get the concept of a minute’s silence. Quite frankly, he doesn't get the concept of silence. The only book that we took with us to ground Zero was the Bible (Thank you to Chris and Emma Jonker). So Laurel read to The Boy the story of Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41). How incredibly appropriate. Smart woman, my wife. To paraphrase the disciples: "Who is this, that even terror and evil are docile before his voice?" Guess who the Boy is pointing to?

A day of reflection.

Love, Justin.


Em said...

Last night on SBS there were 11 short movies each of 9 minutes and 11 seconds.
Worth getting your hands on if you can...
Each one came from a different country in the world and were depicting different peoples' experiences on September 11, 2001.
The one that I found most intriguing was set in Iran and it was Afgani refugee children in school.
The teacher was telling the children about what had happened in New York and then held a minutes silence for those who lost their lives.
The young children were unable to be quiet and so what ensues is a discussion between them about how the destruction came about. They spent the next couple of minutes debating about gods' place in all of this. Now, I don't know what god they are talking about, but it did remind me that our God is completely in control.
I can't imagine what people must be feeling if they witnessed the attacks, or if they lost loved ones. I can only pray that they will find comfort that can only be found in our Lord Jesus.
In May when I was in New York, I travelled down to Ground Zero. I didn't want to go, because I knew that it would be a reminder of the mess that our world is in. I can't explain the sadness that came over me as I walked around the site. I was listening to my ipod on shuffle and the song that came on was by Third Day called "Cry out to Jesus". One of the lines in the song is
'There is hope for helpless, rest for the weary and love for the broken heart, there is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing that meet you wherever you are...Cry out to Jesus.'
As I walked around and saw the paintings drawn by children who lost their Mum or their Dad, all I could do is pray that they come to know Jesus.
But it is not just people affected by 9-11 that need to hear the saving message. It is all who have not heard it. All over the world.
Romans 10:14-15 says "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news"
I pray for you Justin and Laurel that God will equip you to do this work in that big city of New York...
I miss you all.

Ben said...

Great post, Justin. And great pictures.

What a blessing that you've seen fruit of God's work in bringing people to Christ, even through an act of such evil. Events this significant and painful really do jar us out of our induced hypnosis.

Visit us sometime.

michael jensen said...

marana tha

Brandon Fibbs said...

How gorgeous that you read the passages about Christ calming the storm in the midst of the storm which we both witnessed yesterday. Beautiful.

seapea said...

a couple of things:

a. i'm glad you guys went down there and just being there, not knowing how God would use you (and met this Heidi)

b. your photography skills are indeed improving (love the somber b/w)

c. don't you love NYC more after this? i don't know why but don't you?

and thank you for coming to our city to be one of our shepherds.

chelsea said...

thats a great post.

It is amazing to see how God works through these situations isnt it?!
Its amazing when so many people try to blame God for things like Sept 11th attacks, yet there are so many more reasons to turn to him.

Anyway...I love those photos Justin!

Praying for you, your fam, your city, and the nation's leaders.

Em - I have seen some of those films, they are excellent!

byron said...

Em, I saw them too (a few years ago) - I was particularly struck by the one from Chile (I think) - about their Sept 11 (1973). I also remember the one from the US about the guy with the flowerpots and the light in his apartment. Very powerful.

DiscuZion said...

Hey Justin, Sam here.

I was casually looking up sydney church websites and I found your old church! I know cause I clicked on the "staff" page and lo and behold, there was a picture of "Justin Moffatt". Needs a little updating, I´d dare say. Interesting surprise.

Great post.

God bless, brother.

The Pocknalls said...

Great post Justin. I was moved reading it and the previous one.

Chris Jonker said...

Hi Justin & Laurel, i just came across your blog by accident (searched the web for emma jonker and found your reference to the bible and sept. 11 on your blog). On September 8 we became grandparents to Tobias, hebrew name meaning God is good, son of Louisa & Rene Pfitzner. September 11 was really bad, but really only just for us westerners, remember the ongoing atrocities in the middle east and africa, where victims are counted in the tens or hundreds of thousands. The free will of man often is a terrible thing resulting in countless murders etc., but also our means for salvation by accepting Jesus. God bless you all in NYC.
Chris & Emma

Justin said...

Thanks Chris. I just sent you an email to your bigpond.net.au address. Are you still using that?