Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: A bulwark never failing

Yellow Daisies. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

On this sacred day, the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, my memories and my loss mean so little against what so many have lost. I didn't lose a spouse, a relative, friend or acquaintance. It seems so minor to say that I lost that easy sense of security that I had in 2001, when my first daughter had just turned three and I was busy with volunteer projects. Our country had never been attacked on our soil, airplanes had never been used as bombs. Terrorists were in foreign countriees and movies, not among us in our neighborhoods and airports. As I watched the towers fall, all I could think about was "how can I tell my daughter about this world she's going to grow up in?"

I still don't know what to tell her or her sister about 9/11. But we'll go to church today and remember that sad day and I'll do my best to make my girls feel secure in their world. I feel like the best I can do is give them a foundation of faith and the rest is up to God.

I remember so much of September 11, 2001 - my morning trip to the thrift store, listening to the first sketchy news bites on the radio, the panicked call to the preschool director (whose husband was a pilot on an unaffected airplane), the email from the church asking all to an evening service. I remember sitting in the sanctuary, listening to the preacher comfort us. There were no tears, no wailings, no murmurings. We're Presbyterians, after all, the frozen chosen even on days that shake us to the core.

We alll stood at the end to sing the powerful hymn, "A Might Fortress is Our God." There's so much about this hymn that I love, especially the line "a bulwark never failing." The definition of bulwark is "any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt." My God, my church, my family and friends are my bulwark.

"A Mighty Fortress" is a very old hymn, nearly 500 years old, and was written by Martin Luther, who knew a thing or two about bold statements and the power of words. The final stanza gives me chills, especially reflecting on 9/11.

"Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;

the body they may kill; God's truth abideth still;

His kingdom is forever."

Here's a clip of Steve Green singing an a capella version of "Might Fortress" and it is indeed powerful. It's from the 80s, so it's a bit dated, but Steve is the best kind of singer, one who lets the words do the work.

God bless you and your families on this day of remembrance. 


HapaMama said...

What a touching reminder of the importance of faith and family, Lucy.

Although, I did have to smile a little about that blowdried hair ;)

Lucy@acookandherbooks said...

I saw Steve Green perform at First Baptist Church Atlanta around the time of this video & he did have perfect, blown-dry Dynasty hair! His voice and this hymn are classic, though. Thanks for visiting, Grace!