Parish Magazine Article - October 2021

 

“ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”


Last month marked the events of September 11 – it feels unbelievable that 20 years have passed since this major world event happened. For those who lost friends and loved ones, the memory is still raw and our prayers are with all those who grieve.

 

Most adults over the age of 30 will recount their story of exactly what they were doing and when they heard the news that fateful day. Just as generations before recounted their stories on hearing the news of the assassination of JFK and the death of Princess Diana. 

 

For me, it was an ordinary Tuesday in a primary school I was teaching at in north London. At the end of the school day, as normal, I took the children downstairs to be collected. The usual hubbub was missing. Parents looked grim.

One said, “Isn’t it awful, Mrs Gibson?”

I replied: “Isn’t what awful? I’ve been in the classroom all day.”

The collective response: “Planes have crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.”

We gathered as a staff in the school hall and put on the TV normally used for BBC Schools programmes. We went home, not fully understanding what was happening.

I had choir practice that evening and went to the church hall as normal. None of us felt like singing, so we gathered in small groups and prayed. We comforted one another with words from the Bible: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

That was 20 years ago, and we all know what followed.

A generation has grown up since then, in a world marked by the events of that day. Other cataclysmic events have occurred too. And those words still hold true, as they always will: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

 

AD Fiona