Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, I attended a Founders Day chapel service at the Christian liberal arts college where my husband was an administrator. It was while there that I learned of the terrorist attacks against my country — and the incomprehensible loss of precious lives. I did what many of you did: I grieved … and I prayed. In the evening, I returned to the church for an impromptu prayer service. Rather than cancel classes as did so many institutions of higher learning, I was proud that the administration and faculty understood that students needed them MOST at that time; not for teaching a curriculum, but for teaching Life. Their students were young and confused, hurting and angry. They needed help working through the feelings caused by the unforeseen, horrific, inexcusable events. They needed mature guidance even as they were offered open arms and listening ears.
At such times of tragedy, people typically turn away from their religion — or they embrace it more tightly. Media reports shortly after September 11 told of Americans “returning to God” or “turning to prayer” for comfort. Sadly, even some of us who already prayed on a regular basis realized that we had become far too comfortable with our lives and had taken our freedoms for granted. In a spirit of repentance, we vowed to never let that happen again.
To help me keep that vow, this figurine (wearing her sweet PINK dress) now sits atop my refrigerator where I see her many times a day. She was in the bottom of a box of odds and ends I purchased at an auction. She’d been broken and repaired at least twice (haven’t we all?), but she has the most peaceful expression on her face as she bows in prayer. When I see her, I am simply reminded to pray. I don’t want prayer to be, as some have called it, “the greatest untapped resource.” I want to tap into its power as I communicate with my Creator. I want my life and my prayers to make a difference in the world, even as I begin where I live — in the United States of America.
No matter what country you call “home,” if you believe in the power of prayer, I hope you will renew your commitment to tap into that power. And as you do, I pray that the peaceful expression on my figurine will be mirrored on your face and in your heart — because you know that with God ALL things are possible.