17 Years

17 years.

I remember details about many things in my few years on earth, but I do not always remember events with emotional clarity. I do remember September 11, 2001. I remember the horrified pit in my stomach sitting in the student center, watching the planes fly into the towers. Over. And over. And over.

I remember trying to imagine what those people must have felt, trapped, before the collapse; the feel of death surrounding me.

I remember the curious fear, walking around downtown Chicago where I lived, wondering whether a winged metal tube would bullet through the blue sky and explode our skyline.

My emotional memory is blurred for many things, but I remember what I felt then. The American dream and the dream of youth were both rent for me that day. The evil “over there” had come into my house.


17 years.

The experience of evil turns us to the big questions: “Why?” “What does it mean?” “When will it end?”

For the Christian these questions draw us, magnetically, to the Great Day. That Day when all things will be put to right. For we know that they will be.

King Jesus is on the throne, even if we cannot see Him with our eyes; we see Him in faith. And He has promised to make all things new. And we know He will.

The day is coming when He will rescue His people from this groaning world. When He will cleanse, beautify – redeem His world, making heaven and earth new. And for all the goodness and justice and glory, there will be no more cause for tears, suffering, killing, abuse, terrorizing, power-grabbing, exploitation, corruption, manipulation, pride, denigration, and every wretched thing that twists our hearts to grief.

And O for that day, when our joy will be to love, and live justly, to serve with gladness, and to live in the wholeness for which God made us!


17 years.

Today we look back to see the planes and the smoke. But we look forward to see the glory and the hope.

We say today, and will say tomorrow, and until He fills our vision with His visible glory: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

 
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