BEING READY FOR THE SHOCK
HOW U2 PASTORED AMERICA POST 9/11

20 YEARS SINCE 9/11 - Stop The Spinning Wheel

911-attacks-guantanamo-trial

 

On the 10th of September 2001 Clive Gregson was gigging in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He encored with The Beatles song Across The Universe and and crowd sang over and over, "Nothing's going to change my world..."

In the morning the same crowd woke up and watched the world change before their TV News eyes. 9/11. Twenty years ago. Where were you, everyone is asking?

It was quite a strange way that I got to see the news live. My friend Shane Tucker, now back living in Delaware, Ohio was in my Chaplaincy cafe. He wanted to show me a video. As we tried to get it going the TV cut in and there was news of a plane hitting the Twin Towers. But for Shane I wouldn't have been watching TV.

We watched and the second plane hit. Shane immediately knew it was a terrorist attack and was on the phone to his father in America. He said to me - Bin Laden. I am not sure we ever watched his video.

I don't know when I wrote this poem. Somewhere between the terrorist attack of that tragic day and the idea of going to war in response. It takes me back to the day and I think brings Jesus revolutionary ideas into all such moments.

 

Do you remember when the sky exploded

Do you remember the sick stench of rubble and skin

Do you remember the children left waiting in nurseries

Do you remember the funerals without a coffin

Do you remember the lingering fidgeting agitation

Do you remember the paralysis of nothing you can do

Do you remember Jesus saying, “Do unto others

As you would have them do unto you.”

 

Do you remember the heart of the nation crumble

Do you remember the rip in the lining of your soul

Do you remember the day fair could not be mended

Do you remember despair spiralling out of control

Do you remember the news men lost for words

Do you remember fiction blurring into what’s true

Do you remember Jesus saying, “Do unto others

As you would have them do unto you.”

 

And in vengeances vicious circle

In the perpetual cycle of hate

Someone has to stop the spinning wheel

Or everything’s gonna be too late

Jesus said, “Do unto others

As you would have them do unto you.”

That grace can blow holes in our waging of war

So that peace can squeeze through.

 

Do you remember nowhere left to run

Do you remember the long cast shadow of death

Do you remember the people falling, falling, falling

Do you remember the fear for your next breath

Do you remember the panic ‘neath the dust of hell

Do you remember the heroes trying to make it through

Do you remember Jesus saying, “Do unto others

As you would have them do unto you.”

 

And in vengeances vicious circle

In the perpetual cycle of hate

Someone has to stop the spinning wheel

Or everything’s gonna be too late

Jesus said, “Do unto others

As you would have them do unto you.”

That grace can blow holes in our waging of war

So that peace can squeeze through.

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