Debris [poem]

This poem was written on September 11, 2001 as I watched the news reports from work. I was shocked, alarmed, saddened, yet I had a new hope in a God who could save and comfort all.

No one can understand the pain,
no one can face the fear alone—head on.
Too much to digest, too many noises—to think clearly
and remember the silence of what once was a normal day.

With traffic and the hum of the city,
without all the crying.
Without so much pain fragrant in the air.
I am empty—no more left to dole out. No more emotion to fear, only fear itself.

And then I remember your presence.
Wherever I go, you are everywhere in time and space,
filling all things.

Even in the cockpit with those that didn’t know you.
Even in the darkest hollows of the stairwell.
Even with the innocent on the planes that gave their lives, you were there.

Though the fear might seem overpowering,
it might seem to take us over,
might seem to tear us up—inside to out—you are there,
through-and-through.

You are our hope, our stronghold.
You are there when we cry out—destitute—
you are there when we cower in the shadows of those we’ve loved.
You are even there in the sleepless nights, now so frequent.

And we try—we try to get on with things.
First, going through the motions, then one foot in front of the other.
We can do it, but only with you, holding close.
There is no other way. We have no other choice now.

If we didn’t know it, if we didn’t accept it before,
we know now—more than ever—that you are real,
and only you can save us from the falling debris.

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