Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pondering The Rubble

broken bits and pieces of anything, as that which is demolished

The scene was sobering. Bordered eerie. Heart-wrenching and grief-striking. The ramifications of what had taken every American hostage to disbelief on that weather perfect Tuesday morning in the fall of 2000 rendered me speechless.  Thoughts that randomly raced here, there, everywhere and back again.  The after-math of terrorism.  Sobering. Eerie. Heart-wrenching and grief-striking. Standing and staring into the shocking face of Ground Zero less than a year after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that left the magnificent Twin Towers in a heap of rubble.  A heap of rubble …an understatement of significant proportions! The scene promoted a near state of shock. Again.

I don’t know about you but I don’t often ponder rubble so when our pastor  recently admonished us to take note of the rubble we find in our families, it grabbed my attention.  More often I bear this bad habit of being overwhelmed by the rubble of the “half-done incomplete work” in a project, a relationship, a family.  Rarely do I practice the wisdom of being encouraged by the “half-done completed work.” I admit being seriously encouraged by the sermon as some personal rubble has discouraged the heck out of me in recent days.  I hadn’t noticed.  His sermon blew the whistle. Beyond noticing, Pastor Dan challenged us to “remember the Lord in the rubble!”

Lesson to be had from the rescue workers at Ground Zero.  Men and women inspired to work beyond exhaustion, ignore the overwhelming sense of loss and grief, sacrifice the daily-ness of their lives to work around-the-clock hoping and praying for one more miracle … one person still breathing. Even if barely. This rubble clearance crew, if you will, rested only briefly in a tiny 18th-century Episcopal Church just yards away from where the towers fell. St. Paul’s Chapel transformed into the WTC relief center where clergy consoled, cooks dished out simple meals, and medical workers treated stiff muscles, burned feet and more. Volunteers at the chapel recall weary rescue workers coming in covered in death, only to wash up a bit, grab a bite to eat, sleep a spell and head back out to sift through mounds and mounds of incomprehensible rubble.  Desperate to find some sign of life …. 

“Almost as soon as the World Trade Center’s twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers, search-and-rescue dogs and volunteers headed to Ground Zero to look for survivors. Because they didn't know how many people were trapped alive in the wreckage, firefighters and other rescue workers had to search carefully through the unstable piles of rubble for air pockets, called "voids," where they might find people who had been unable to escape from the collapsing buildings. To be safe, they didn't use any heavy equipment at first. Some dug with their bare hands, while others formed bucket brigades to move small amounts of debris as efficiently as possible.”  

As those of another kingdom, we too partner with the Way Maker to “find people who have been unable to escape” from something that the enemy ordered to collapse on them.  Not a building but a circumstance. Or relationship. Assigned to trap them alive.  Keeping hope alive. Reminding fellow sojourners that God longs to salvage and redeem.  Jesus showed up on the scene for that very reason; to “undo the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). Clear out the rubble of broken lives and sometimes messy relationships.  The Son of God, the expert rescue worker. Never overwhelmed by the rubble of our lives.  Rescuing is His forte. Rescue efforts His glory.  

And one never knows what might show up in the rubble … a place where God loves to show up and show off.

“According to actor and photographer Gary Marlon Suson, one page from a Bible was buried under tons of World Trade Center Steel and rubble, found by rescue workers … amid the ruins. ‘After more than 93 days of fires, a skinny, little, frail page from the Bible survived. 
I find it quite unbelievable,’ Suson told The POST.”