Twelve years ago I opened the office, turned on NPR, and to my utter surprise started hearing about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center Tower, not wait two planes crashing into both Towers; three planes; four planes…. After listening for a while longer, I could not be alone, so I went to my Sr. Warden’s store and together we watched televised coverage. I remember the towers, one after the other, crumbling into billowing clouds of consuming dust. I vividly recall the images of a person running down the street being overcome by the racing cloud, disappearing “forever.” Like many Americans I was lost.
This morning I recalled those feelings. I recalled two colleagues who were in Trinity Wall St. and the stories of their escape. I recalled hearing one talk of how his experience changed him, he no longer has any patience for the trivial, and how much more is trivial. I said good bye, and offered a prayer as he boarded a plane for the first time since that dark day.
This morning I pondered the difference in the national conversation. Twelve years ago there was a sense of unity, there was sense of dependence on armed might to go where ever in the world is necessary and strike a decisive blow for freedom and liberty. Today as we debate the appropriate to another horrific violent act aimed at citizenry, nerve gas attack in Syria. It is lesser in scale, though no less terrifying. Gone is the surety in the long reach of armed might. Gone is the sense of unity. We openly discuss the complexities, and duplicities of events. We openly debate the range of appropriate responses. And like many I am, again, lost.
And so I experienced an entirely different response to the Parable of the lost sheep. Yes, I know no right minded shepherd would leave 99 sheep to go search for 1 lost sheep. Any prudent businessperson understands. I was struck by a commentator observation that there is nothing special about the sheep, except that it is lost. Yet that is enough for God to scour the wilderness.
In the midst of my lost-ness, guide me to shun the paper securities of this world; draw me to seek the presence, to listen for the voice of the one who has, and is, and will always seek the lost and celebrate their return.