Thursday evening we went to NYC to pick up my mom at JFK. Friday we trekked all over Lower & Midtown Manhattan. We were at Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Central Park, Trump Tower (loved the waterfall in the lobby), and Ground Zero. There was one place that really stood out the most. It was St. Paul’s Chapel, which sits in view of the gaping scar that was once the World Trade Center. St. Paul’s was a place of ministry to the rescue workers, a place they could visit to let the tears flow, let the questions and prayers rise. If you find yourself in NYC, be sure to go by and experience their exhibit on 9/11 and the days that followed (“Unwavering Spirit: Hope & Healing at Ground Zero”).
St. Paul’s has been a witness to history before. When this country was in its infancy, New York City was the capitol. St. Paul’s was where President George Washington would worship while in town. His pew, still there, served as a place to tend to the rescuer’s cuts and bruises in the aftermath of 9/11.
Out the back door, toward the Trade Center site, is a church cemetery. Quite a few people were there finding a quiet place in noisy city. Since the chapel was built in 1766, the cemetery has some very old markers. My mom made an interesting remark as we walked through on our way to Ground Zero. She said, “Some of the markers have been worn completely blank by the weather. It’s a little eery.” She did not have to explain, I knew what she meant. This life is temporary, and sometimes altogether too short. Just feet below those blank markers lie the remains of people–people with stories, lives, loves, triumphs, defeats, all the facets that make up a life. But the markers are blank, leaving us no connection, no idea of who it is that was honored one day by a circle of friends and family in that cemetery.
It is good to know that when your name is written in God’s book of Life, weather can’t erase it, even when the marker’s worn blank.
“All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.” Revelation 3:5 NLT