I remember 9/11. The attacks were horrifying, angering, fear-inducing, and wholly terrible. And in the aftermath of those horrible events, I felt no peace. I felt no hope.
I was confused, angry, and even somewhat vengeful. I know I was not alone. Publically I tried to be a voice of calm, peace, and compassion – inside I felt lost and troubled.
In John 14:25-31, when Jesus was saying his “good-bye” to the disciples, he had to know that they were feeling lost and troubled. He had to know that calm, peace, and hope were far away.
And he still said to them, “Peace I leave with you.” “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
I am sure that after Jesus spoke, the disciples were still troubled and afraid.
Jesus’ words weren’t a commandment to follow. They were words of encouragement and hope – words that would provide much more comfort later – but not then.
10 years after 9/11, I am hopeful, calm, and feel much at peace. I don’t feel vengeful or angry. Yet my heart is still troubled. I know that at least a part of me is afraid.
But I pray that Jesus’ words, the ones that offered, at some time, comfort to the disciples, will bring comfort at some time to all who still are troubled and afraid.