1. Reece, Sandra D.

Article Content

The tragedies of September 11, 2001, have impacted us all. Especially in a city that prides itself in its diverse cultures, ethnic backgrounds and religions, the tragedy came right home to us.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.
Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

We learned as days went by that everyone had a story to tell; everyone knew someone who knew people who had been affected by The World Trade Center (WTC), Pentagon and even the plane crash in Pennsylvania. They want to share stories, exchange pictures, talk and comfort each other. Since then, the city didn't seem large or cold, as many people think about New York. This is a city that is grieving, and we will never be the same.


The disciples may have experienced the same sense of grief and loss for Jesus that NYC is now experiencing. The Bible tells us in Acts 1-2 that Jesus was crucified and ascended into heaven, leaving the disciples to comfort one another as they awaited the day of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.


The tragedy has affected some New Yorkers emotionally because they have never experienced terrorism, never experienced bomb threats, never lived in a country where the army rules or where basic rights of freedom or justice are denied. They have never lived with the threat of biological warfare. For some New Yorkers the sense of security is shattered, and the innocence is gone.


The loss has greatly impacted our city financially. Some businesses have relocated; others have not yet been able to reopen. Physically, the destruction of tons of twisted, steaming hot steel, broken glass, and the loss of innocent lives are impossible to comprehend. Everyone is talking to and listening to one another, sharing their war stories, crying with one another. But most important, the city is in need of spiritual care. We await our Pentecost.


New York nurses' reactions have varied. They volunteer to give blood and to care for sick families, as well as tend to their own families. Many nurses, too, are dealing with the loss of a loved one as a result of this tragedy.


Our Pentecost happens when the Christian community comes together. The church doors are wide open. Church attendance is up. Many Christian organizations are praying. Nurses from Nurses Christian Fellowship New York City (NCF/NYC) are actively involved in their work places, caring and praying for our patients. In the midst of this fear, anxiety, grief, loss and uncertainty, NCF/NYC continues to meet to pray for our city, our leaders, our country and our world. We pray that God, through the Holy Spirit, will lead NCF/NYC to witness openly to our coworkers, our patients and our families. We seek to be merciful, showing love and patience and praying for those who seek to do evil to us. We pray for our Muslim neighbors, as they may feel fear and anger, that Jesus will also bring them the peace that passes understanding and that we are able to witness to and fellowship with them.


Although surrounded by tragedy, we also live in the midst of God's peace in this great mission field, where we are able to witness to all New Yorkers. God has called us to share the good news of the gospel to the afflicted and broken hearted (Is 61:1-4). Our God is our refuge and strength; we will not be fearful, though the earth may change (Ps 46:1-4). So, in the midst of the storm, we have hope. The Presence of Pentecost will deliver us and see us through.