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Monday, April 12, 2021

An invasion of tragedy

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“As an eagle stirs up its nest that hovers over its young, he spreads his wings and caught them, and then he carried them.” – (Deuteronomy 32:11)

The terrorist attack on America 10 years ago is one of the few events in U.S. history big enough to claim its date as its name – 9/11. Many of us are still bearing the marks of outward and inward grief from an invasion of tragedy.

Our nation on that day united and people put extravagant generosity into practice. People gave out of their treasures to churches and organizations. Celebrities and performers, nurses and doctors, priests and pastors gave of their talents.

But what was most significant – people like firefighters, police officers, military, and ordinary people – gave untiring hours of their time.

As an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God is with us in our joys, God is with us in our sorrows during an invasion of tragedy. When tragedy disrupts our lives, it’s not a time to sit, and moan, and groan; it’s a time to start living, loving, and giving. To live is to love, and without loving and giving, life is meaningless.

When the 9/11 tragedy struck, it changed our lives and we learned a lot about surrendering. When change occurs in our lives, we should not resist it. We must surrender ourselves in order for Christ to be present in our lives. With Christ in our life, worship then becomes something we live out, and not something we attend once a week.

An invasion of tragedy could remind us of the eagle story when building a nest for its eaglets. The eagle starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items. The nest is then lined with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs to hatch.

By the time the young eagles reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals makes them quite reluctant to leave – so the eagle starts stirring the nest. She pulls up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and thorny branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes too uncomfortable. I am told that the eagle carries her little eaglets until the day she releases them from her wings to soar into the air and fly. She alone knows when they are ready to rise above the wind and take flight.

God is the same way, but there is one difference. God also carries us and bears us up “as on wings of eagles,” but God never lets us go.

Even when we fall, God picks us up. In every decision, every action, every emotion, and every reaction, God is there with us. With God carrying us and leading us, we all can rise high above any invasion of tragedy in our lives.

Dr. Marion J. Miller is the pastor of Later @ St. Luke’s, a multicultural Sunday 6 p.m. worship service located at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St. Check out her webpage at www.stlukesumc.com. She may be contacted at (317) 846.3404 or millerm@stlukesumc.com.


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