“Sometimes it seems that the world’s gone crazy.”

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“Sometimes it seems that the world’s gone crazy.” I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard someone say something like that in the last twelve months. Perhaps you’ve said it yourself. Most, if not all, of you are old enough to remember 9/11. We certainly felt that way then.

September 11, 2001, was a Tuesday. We were scheduled to fly out of town on Friday for our younger daughter’s senior trip. We were headed for Alaska, or so we thought. We weren’t exactly working our way there on a cattle boat like George in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but we had figured out an economical way to get the five of us into the south of Alaska.

All that got cancelled when we heard the news that Tuesday morning. Yes, the Federal government grounded all planes, but we wouldn’t have gone anyway. We were planning to fly cheaply to Seattle and then drive a rented car to the very southern tip of the Alaskan panhandle through British Columbia, Canada, and back. We certainly didn’t want to be in a foreign country that week, even if it was our northern neighbor next door.

When we couldn’t go to Alaska, we drove to the Smoky Mountains for a weekend getaway. It would be another year before we took Mary Evelyn’s real senior trip. On that weekend in the Smokies, I captured image after image of how Americans were feeling after 9/11. We saw “God bless America ” signs everywhere, even on a public school marquee. Trouble makes people think about our heavenly Father, whom they might not have thought much about in a long, long time.

Drawing from the St. Joseph's School for the Deaf, Bronx, New York. Part of a collection of reactions to 9/11, c. 2001. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Exit Art's "Reactions" Exhibition Collection [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]
Drawing from the St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Bronx, New York. Part of a collection of reactions to 9/11. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Exit Art’s “Reactions” Exhibition Collection [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]
The passage below made me think of 9/11. This passage describes how people react to really tough situations, such as that one. While I’m not trying to say that 9/11 was a judgment from God, I know He had lessons He wanted us to learn from what happened that day. Everything is an opportunity for us to draw closer to God and learn His ways or to turn our faces away from Him.

At night my soul longs for You,
Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently;
For when the earth experiences Your judgments
The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Though the wicked is shown favor,
He does not learn righteousness;
He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness,
And does not perceive the majesty of the Lord.
Isaiah 26:9-10

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