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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

Christian Comment - 16 September 2009: Andrew Lyon, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

Moving memories of 9/11...

Last Friday marked the eight anniversary of the 9/11 bombings. I was privileged to visit New York last summer and stand at the site of what has become known as ground zero - which was still, nearly seven years on, an eerie vision of disorder.

Close by is a museum, in which the 9/11 story is retold. One exhibit I particularly remember is a till receipt. It belonged to someone who had bought breakfast inside the north tower that morning. Testament to the unadulterated ordinariness which preceded the disaster.

For me, the most moving part of the museum is the last room. On the walls is a series of full length pictures of survivors and relatives of the deceased, who now volunteer to do guided tours of ground zero. What was striking was that the people in the picture are smiling. If you met these people in the street, nothing would link them to 9/11.

Undoubtedly, telling their stories is part of a long healing process, but the pictures were the most moving witness I've seen to God's resurrection power, his power to draw new life and direction out of death and chaos. We are changed and shaped by the events that happen to us, and they become part of our story, but they are not the end of that story.

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