God often sends signs in times of tragedy – we just have to look for them. Responders weren’t necessarily looking for a sign from God as they sifted through the destruction following the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But that’s exactly what they discovered in a piece of rubble from the Twin Towers. found with a bible verse merged to this. And the powerful message it contained is just as important today as it was then! (If you’d rather listen to the audio version of this story, scroll to the end of this article to find the podcast version below!)
Hope found in devastation
While the 9/11 attack brought down the World Trade Center in a day, it took months to clean up the destruction left behind.
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In March 2002, a cleaning crew was sifting through the last vestiges of the South Tower. And that’s when a firefighter discovered a very special piece of debris!
He had found a Bible verse fused to a piece of rubble. In shock, he called Joel Meyerowitz, who was nearby. Joel is a photographer who wrote the book “Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive”.
“This shredded, burned, rubble-covered Bible came to me from the loving hands of a firefighter who knew I was the custodian of the Ground Zero records,” Joel said.
At the 9/11 Memorial, an enduring message of forgiveness – http://t.co/v6LPyD4Ifv via @nytimesworld
– Joel Meyerowitz (@joelmeyerowitz) September 25, 2015
A powerful message
The page was taken from the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount and specifically addressed retaliation.
And given the pain and anger we all felt after the September 11 attacks, the words of that speech are particularly significant:
“You have heard that it was said: Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth; but I tell you that you do not resist evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, offer him the other also.” Matthew 5:38-39
It is natural, in times of attack, to want to lash out, to defend oneself and to seek revenge. It’s something we all felt after that terrible day. But God warns us not to return evil with evil, but to leave vengeance to him. He calls us to move forward in love and forgiveness.
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“My amazement at seeing the page the Bible was open on made me realize that the message of the Bible survives through time,” Joel continued, “and in every age we interpret its teachings in fresh ways, according to the occasion.”
Joel then donated the fragment to the National September 11 Memorial Museum, where it continues to inspire today.
WATCH: Joel talks about rubble-fused Bible verse
What an incredible discovery and a powerful message straight from our loving God who was, is and always will be!
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“I will instruct you and teach you the way you must follow; I will advise you with My eye on you. Psalm 32:8
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h/t: NY Times
Featured image credit: Twitter/Joel Meyerowitz