Thursday, September 16, 2010
I Love New York, More Than Ever (by Judy)
Last week I was in New York celebrating the birthday of my grandson, born Sept. 9th. On this trip I experienced the inescapable presence of 9/11 at my daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. I never considered it when I made the reservations. I simply put in the Saturday return. Sept. 11th in the evening, after the birthday party.
When we arrived, I was aware of American flags everywhere; especially on the fire engines that seem to sweep through the streets regularly. The fire station down the street was draped in bunting. So were the trash trucks. I was oblivious. Friday evening we went out for dinner – a foursome headed in the twilight to a chic restaurant in Tribeca, the last neighborhood before the financial district. When we emerged after dinner, my heart turned over.
In front of us were two beams of light, so close that I felt I could touch them, two magnificent, soul-stirring columns reaching so high that it was hard to say whether they went from the earth to the sky, or from heaven to earth. It was a stunning reminder and we stopped in silent tribute.
The next day was anything except silent. The apartment was filled with five year olds delighting in a magician’s sleight of hand. But one boy’s shirt said it all – “I love New York, more than ever.” After the party we descended into the chaos of a New York street fair, filled with resilient humanity, stands with food from around the world, trinkets for sale on blankets, music floating smoothly through the air - jazz, salsa, pan pipes, a sitar, reggae, rap. Above us, the sky was cobalt blue, reminding everyone old enough to remember about that cobalt blue sky nine years earlier.
As our plane took off in the 9/11 evening, my eyes searched the sky. There they were, the beams again, cutting through the low clouds, and again I was confused – were they from man, memorializing a tragic moment? Or were they from God, saying, Here I am. In your sorrow, as in your joy.
Ah, you finally got to God, a reader of coffeepotgospel may say. But God is everywhere in this blog. God has made promises to his people – promises about his grace being sufficient, that all things work together for good for those who love and serve him, that he will supply our needs, that there is sure victory over death to those who believe, and that he is with us in the pit, in the fire, in the storm – in the faces of diversity on city streets, in the courage of a city that refuses to cringe, in love – more than ever.