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IN THE SHADOW OF HORROR
Pastor Terry Hofecker
Northwest Chapel
September
11, 2001

Lamentations 3:46-57

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. 47 Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction. 48 My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 My eyes flow and do not cease, without interruption, 50 Till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees. 51 My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city. 52 My enemies without cause hunted me down like a bird. 53 They silenced my life in the pit and threw stones at me. 54 The waters flowed over my head; I said, "I am cut off!" 55 I called on Your name, O LORD, From the lowest pit. 56 You have heard my voice: "Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help." 57 You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, "Do not fear!" (NKJV)

Just a few short hours ago heartless enemies of our nation wantonly killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of our fellow citizens as they did no more than go about the daily routine of their lives. Even now, rescue workers, peace officers, military personnel, medical personnel and hundreds of other public workers and volunteers are swallowing their rage and grief and heroically doing what they were trained to do. They cannot stop and grieve with us. Someday, when it catches up with them a second set of uncounted victims will fall to the bloody hands of these savage terrorists.

One of the hijacked planes fell just a few short miles from my family home in Western Pennsylvania and within earshot of my brother's workplace. I, with millions of others, worried through those early hours how deeply and intimately I would be touched by this mindless cruelty. Thousands upon thousands will not be as blessed as my family and will have their national grief turned into an intimate one.

In the days ahead, many concrete opportunities will present themselves for us to respond. But, until we are called upon to donate blood, give money, open our homes or even sift through the rubble, we must all endure the almost unbearable impulse to DO something. Thankfully, as God's people, we have a responsibility we can and we must fulfill. Our nation needs us.

Of course, our nation needs us to pray.



We now face a night that has come upon us swiftly and unbidden. But, we do not face it alone. Let us love and support one another in the true spirit of Jesus Christ. Let us make prayer our labor as diligently and passionately as any other of the "relief' workers called to respond to this tragedy. Let us do our part as needed by our national leaders and fellow citizens. And let us remember the words of Our Lord, "Do not fear!"






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