• Karen M. Peeler

Remembering the lost honors life and comforts those left behind


Remembering the lost honors life and comforts those left behind. I have been a follower of Christ since age seven and grew up in a Christian home. A pastor's daughter, then a pastor’s wife. Worship pastor, choir director, children’s minister, and all around whatever was needed, might be a sentence on my resume.

For a few years as I finished my Christian Counseling degree I was blessed to work at a large church offering biblical instruction and care to those struggling to find hope. Walking the road with fellow believers as they experienced the tribulation Jesus mentioned in John 16:33 was a privilege. I did not take it lightly. Courageous and unbelievably brave is how I would describe the ones reaching out and sitting with a stranger trying to find words to express deep hurt and loss.

Early on while living for the Lord, in my twenties, I stood beside a mother peering into the casket of her little one. It didn’t take me long to realize I did not have an answer to the questions bubbling up from the heart of the one carrying the loss.There were no words then and there are no words now to erase this level of pain.

My Dad taught me by example to fill up with God’s goodness in the secret place and then just being with someone grieving will be enough. Because it is never by our power that healing takes place. It is through the power within us that reaches out and touches the heart of another that God comforts the brokenhearted and binds their wounds.

I love people and my heart tends to reach out to the broken and hopeless to plant seeds of truth; because I firmly believe the Father has the answer. Then and now my Savior is faithful. But there are days I am reminded of his constant hand upon the lives of so many at a deeper level.

September 11 has rolled around again. Sixteen years since that horrible day of death and destruction. So many affected. Praying and thinking about that day, I want to take this opportunity to honor each life and comfort those left behind.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

We will have trials. Sorrow will seek us out and settle into life. But one thing I have learned while crying with others and offering a listening ear and prayer is that God supernaturally transforms hurt into hope and tears into treasures. When his hand reaches out he takes the cries from within, he gently holds them, tucks them in a bottle and writes each detail down.

Share each other's burdens, and in this way

obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

Because of God's great power we never need to shy away from the process of grieving. With confidence in the resurrection power within us, we can reach out. Say hello. Listen. Pray. Send cards. Serve with love. We can remember because the Father in heaven never forgets.

Remembering those lost on that horrific day releases honor and restores hope.

Time is not the same for a person who has lost a loved one. It has been sixteen years and this may mirror a long time to a person who watched it happen but to those with empty spots it feels like yesterday.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

God has a supernatural way of binding our wounds and turning our sorrows into comfort. His compassion releases care as we interact with each other and weep with those who weep.

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

Psalm 10:17

As the body of Christ, we show God's miraculous healing power as we stop to share the heavy load. Praying for each other while bearing each other's burdens manifests the beauty, compassion, and kindness of God.

What happened sixteen years ago was horrific but it did not erase the hope found in a good Father who works through the hands of faithful friends. May we as a nation stop to remember and reach out, embracing the process while helping carry someone else's load.

September 11, 2001

Never Forgotten

Honored and remembered

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