9/11 Remembrance

The day after 9/11, I sat stunned and disbelieving by my fish pond. The air so dense with grief it was difficult to breathe yet the fish and birds seemed oblivious to my lamentations. A blue jay swooped in and chased a cardinal away despite the fact that the feeder was full. It reminded me of the senseless destruction of the World Trade Towers. God created a universe full of abundance yet his creatures were destroying each other in greed  and violence.

Someone asked, “Where is your God now, Dr. Burns?”   

Here is my answer.

curtain wall buildings under blue cloudy sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

9/12/01      10:47am             Psalm Twenty-three Revisited or Where was God?

The Lord is my shepherd as a man holds a box cutter

I shall not want and a woman phones her husband.

He maketh me to lie down as a jet crashes in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the fiery gates of steel and the still waters.

He restoreth my soul as a priest administers the last rites

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness to a fireman.

They die in each other’s arms for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk by two hundred and twenty crumbling stories

through the valley of the shadow 

a cardinal sings of death.

And a blue jay chases the red one away,

I will fear, he is hungrier,

no evil. He is bigger.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort as a cardinal sings on me.

Water circles a pond as thou preparest a table

where one hundred fish swim before me in the presence 

and this flowing IMG_2363creates the breath of my enemies.

As fish breath under water and my cup runneth over.

Once there were three fish, he annointeth my head with oil,

Now there are one hundred.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow

Fish swim, fish breathe and a cardinal sings to me, all the days of my life.

And I will dwell, now the thousands search in the house of the Lord

for loved ones to say goodbye, I’ll miss you       forever.                                 

Julia W. Burns, MD


  1. Absolutely beautiful Julia. Is that what you were doing this weekend? Before the storm and the distriction we will see in the next week. May there be no lives lost and your prayers protect All of us in the storms path.

    And I wonder if it is the storm wrath. And opportunity for goodness and mercy and how little value there are possessions, No matter how we think we sacrifice for them


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