Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. For me, one of the most heartbreaking images displayed during the remembrances was the picture of emergency-room workers at Manhattan hospitals waiting for patients who never came. The number of people treated was less than expected because many of the people who were trapped in the two buildings were simply turned into dust.

Even after horrible tragedies, our attention quickly turns back to the mundane — the squabbling of politicians, hostility among polarized groups, the petty pressures that obscure our deeper, larger, higher calling as people created by God. But still I couldn’t forget that image of the waiting hospital workers.

Where do we go after loss, disappointment, tragedy? God is always at work to create new life, abundant life, eternal life from the dust of our own and others’ lives. What is the new work that God wants us to help bring out of the dust of others’ losses? Each one of us “dusty” folks is called to become God’s agent working to bring fullness of life in a dusty, wounded world.

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