9/11 From Disconsolate To Joy

Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

This Sunday, marks the 15th anniversary of the catastrophic terrorist attacks which took the lives of 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others. According to Wikipedia, the deaths included 265 on the four planes that crashed, 2,606 in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.

None of us of a certain age, will ever forget our actions, our shock and our response to this event.  We can all answer the question, “Where were you on 9/11?”

I experienced the gut retching actions of the day, as the crash of United Airlines flight 93 was only sixty miles from my then home in Pittsburgh.

That evening I attended a service of healing and memorial.  The very first song that was played was the great hymn of the church, “Come Ye Disconsolate.” While I had heard the hymn many times, this night perhaps for the first time, I really understood the meaning of the word disconsolate.

In Middle Age English, the word disconsolate was used to describe someone who was feeling sad, unhappy, doleful, woebegone, dejected, downcast, desponded, dispirited, or crestfallen.

Sir Thomas Moore the 18th Century Irish poet was well known for penning the sentimental romantic ballads of his day, wrote “Sir Thomas Moore ,” because he knew a great deal about being disconsolate.

Dogged by tragedy, Moore endured the deaths of all his five children – from age 2 to age 27 – within his lifetime.

Moore used his sorrow and personal pain to write “Come Ye Disconsolate,” an anthem of godly hope and strength in the midst of unspeakable grief.

With words like “languish, wounded and anguish,” the opening stanza of the song painted the perfect picture of the United States on September 11, 2001, as we were a nation of the disconsolate.

In the closing lines of the first stanza, Sir Thomas gave clear direction as to how the nation should move forward from September 11, 2001.  He urges us to “bring your wounded hearts to the mercy seat.”

Moore reminds us to tell the Lord of our anguish because “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

Reflecting on the decade and a half since that evening in Pittsburgh, this is what I know:

In this life, we will all feel disconsolate –

We will all feel sad

We will all feel unhappy

We will all feel dejected

We will all feel desponded.

Regardless of the reason for our feelings, God is with us to comfort us, to renew us, and to give us hope.  Psalm 30:5 says it best, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Sir Thomas references this joy in the second stanza of the hymn with the phase, “Joy of the desolate, light of the straying, hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!”

Desolate is the perfect word to describe the United States that day as we were in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness.

However, desolate and disconsolate is not the way God wanted us to be on September 11, 2001, and it is clearly not the way God wants us to be on September 11, 2016.

God wants us to move from disconsolate to joy!

Therefore, on this Patriot Day, “Come ye disconsolate, come to the mercy seat.  Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;

This Sunday, marks the 15th anniversary of the catastrophic terrorist attacks which took the lives of 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others. According to Wikipedia, the deaths included 265 on the four planes that crashed, 2,606 in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.

None of us of a certain age, will ever forget our actions, our shock and our response to this event.  We can all answer the question, “Where were you on 9/11?”

I experienced the gut retching actions of the day, as the crash of United Airlines flight 93 was only sixty miles from my then home in Pittsburgh.

That evening I attended a service of healing and memorial.  The very first song that was played was the great hymn of the church, “Come Ye Disconsolate.” While I had heard the hymn many times, this night perhaps for the first time, I really understood the meaning of the word disconsolate.

In Middle Age English, the word disconsolate was used to describe someone who was feeling sad, unhappy, doleful, woebegone, dejected, downcast, desponded, dispirited, or crestfallen.

Sir Thomas Moore the 18th Century Irish poet was well known for penning the sentimental romantic ballads of his day, wrote “Come Ye Disconsolate,” because he knew a great deal about being disconsolate.

Dogged by tragedy, Moore endured the deaths of all his five children – from age 2 to age 27 – within his lifetime.

Moore used his sorrow and personal pain to write “Come Ye Disconsolate,” an anthem of godly hope and strength in the midst of unspeakable grief.

With words like “languish, wounded and anguish,” the opening stanza of the song painted the perfect picture of the United States on September 11, 2001, as we were a nation of the disconsolate.

In the closing lines of the first stanza, Sir Thomas gave clear direction as to how the nation should move forward from September 11, 2001.  He urges us to “bring your wounded hearts to the mercy seat.”

Moore reminds us to tell the Lord of our anguish because “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

Reflecting on the decade and a half since that evening in Pittsburgh, this is what I know:

In this life, we will all feel disconsolate –

We will all feel sad

We will all feel unhappy

We will all feel dejected

We will all feel desponded.

Regardless of the reason for our feelings, God is with us to comfort us, to renew us, and to give us hope.  Psalm 30:5 says it best, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Sir Thomas references this joy in the second stanza of the hymn with the phase, “Joy of the desolate, light of the straying, hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!”

Desolate is the perfect word to describe the United States that day as we were in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness.

However, desolate and disconsolate is not the way God wanted us to be on September 11, 2001, and it is clearly not the way God wants us to be on September 11, 2016.

God wants us to move from disconsolate to joy!

Therefore, on this Patriot Day, “Come ye disconsolate, come to the mercy seat.  Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

For more posts go to www.marbenbland@com

For more posts go to www.marbenbland@com

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