GRACE IN THE MIDST OF THE RUBBLE
by Cindy Stiverson
This day marks a hallowed memory, a day set apart in history, a day our senses were alerted to remember where we were, what we were doing, how we felt, and the scenes we saw that make it one day we will not forget.
Having spent the past four days in NYC, my heart is tremendously moved as I remember my first step off the subway, eleven years ago near a now infamous location: Ground Zero. The day I arrived is etched in my heart forever. 11-11-01. The place had become an unending memorial service. The hush was so uncharacteristic of this neighborhood. It was profound, especially considering the flock of people gathered around the gates of historic St. Paul's Chapel, nestled among the rubble. God's hand was certainly covering that tiny stone church-turned-respite for the weary workers.
I remember the first time I saw the cross that was formed in the lower level of the tower. I had heard about it by chance in an interview on The Today Show. I scoffed in my mind, thinking that it doesn't take much imagination to see a cross in the remains of two crossbeams. My heart swelled when given access to the ramp where government officials and families of victims were allowed a close-up view of the remains of the WTC. There stood The Cross in all it's glory, leaving no doubt in my mind that God's thumbprint of salvation was made available in the midst of untimely death.
Today, I am taken back to that time and space in my heart. The faces of people I met, ministered to, led to the Lord, are still fresh in my mind's eye. I pray that their lives are a living testimony to the goodness and grace of God.
God's Grace. So much greater than we can ever comprehend. Grace that saved a thief hanging beside Jesus on a cross. In his last breath, he was welcomed into heaven.
Grace that promises to never leave us or forsake us. Grace that is available to every lost sinner and every heaven-bound Christian.
Grace to be freely forgiven. A love-gift from our Creator: The One, The Only, The True God.
No one is exempt from God's grace. The old hymn comes to mind:
"Living, He loved me; Dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever; One day He's coming-- O glorious day!"God is with us! His grace is greater than all our sin.
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.
Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.