Spiritual Impact of 9/11

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BeliefnetCommunity
8/27/2002 1:41 PM
1 out of 183

As you look back on the past year, what has been the ultimate impact of the events of September 11 on your personal spiritual life?

In the past year, have your personal spiritual beliefs changed? Do you pray or attend worship more frequently, or less? If you believe in a deity, has your sense of God changed--do you think of God differently?

Beliefnet wants to hear your personal story of how your faith has changed, positively or negatively, since September 11, 2001.



ViaMedia
8/27/2002 2:45 PM
2 out of 183

In the past few years, I have spent a lot of effort trying to grow out of the God of my childhood. The white-bearded good-guy “fixer” God who is always on our side in the game (or the war), the one we ask to heal a broken relationship or save a loved one from death. I thought sure I had vanquished that childish deity, replaced with a more authentic image of God as companion, the lover of my soul. But when I watched the plane slam into the tower, I suddenly forgot all about that companion God, and immediately turned to the God-who-fixes-things, a spiritual two-year-old crying “Mommy!” With those around me I prayed, pleading with God to make everything right again, punctuating my prayers with earnest promises to be “better” from now on. Hoping to sway God, I attended church more often, remembered to pray every day, followed all the rules, acted like a good little believer.

But God did not make everything better. People died. The nightmare did not vanish. In my fear, I continued my self-betterment regimen, not really thinking about it consciously, but somewhere inside hoping that if I were just good enough it might appease God and change His mind.

Slowly, as the dust cleared in lower Manhattan, so did my awareness. I volunteered in a small way in the relief effort and realized that while I might be helping the firemen by serving food and drinks, the primary way I helped them was just by being there, a compassionate, loving presence. Just being there. Slowly I began to remember who God is. God who is with me, loving me, all the time, not just in church, not just when I’m “good” or pious. The God who is there, was there when the towers fell, who doesn’t prevent bad things from happening but transcends them through love. The God who, I’m certain, embraced every person who died that day in His loving arms.

So yes, after a couple of months, I stopped attending church as often. And I did lose faith... in that Santa Claus God of childhood who takes away pain and makes everything good. That God is dead to me. I had to lose my faith in that false image of God before I had room for an authentic image of the God of Love. September 11 was painful, but because of it I grew up spiritually.



TeacherOfGod
8/27/2002 3:08 PM
3 out of 183

My faith and my spiritual beliefs have not changed at all since Sept. 11th, God has always been an always will be love. God did not cause the events of Sept. 11th, man did. And I never had any faith in man.

Love to all
J.



Firstlove
8/27/2002 5:29 PM
4 out of 183

In my church we have had subsequent messages on the preparation of the second coming and the antichrist. Every day I think more and more how much am I prepared for this. I was especially moved by how much the families involved were such strong people. I don't know if I could go on television and talk about the events that lead up to the attack. With the anniversary nearing I hope having to relieve the events does not bring more sadness to those whose lives were deeply impacted. Spiritually I am very strong now but I think it's more from other eventrs in my life than the 9/11 tragedy.


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