January 14, 2014 by John Nicholas Prassas
I shot these photos of the almost-completed One World Trade Center and 9-11 Memorial from my hotel window overlooking Ground Zero in New York City over New Year’s weekend, when Suzi and I visited our daughter Christina who now lives and works nearby.
12 years earlier I had stood and watched workers sift and clear huge piles of smoldering rubble from the same land – wondering if I would survive the aftermath.
We had just sold the sports media company I had co-founded years earlier to a NASDAQ holding company in New York on that infamous day, 9-11-2001. Final papers were nervously signed by their executives right after the planes hit the Twin Towers, without knowing how that event would impact our lives or business.
The impact almost killed our company. Advertising and sponsorship clients all across America immediately froze their spending which halted much of our growth. Hence my emergency trip in late 2001 to call on N.Y. agencies and potential clients in a vain effort to heat up sales.
A year later I lost my job and staggered into a bleak and painful transition, just one more casualty of the terrorist attack.
So my emotions were churning as I looked out over the grounds, then visited the Memorial fountains and touched the names of fallen firemen and other lost souls etched into the metal walls atop the former Tower footings. I had no idea my feelings ran so deep, or were so deeply buried. But even now I’m weepy, fighting back tears as I type, still wounded by a loss I never grieved.
There’s no time for grief when your survival is at stake. You dust yourself off and get hustling again wherever opportunity leads or allows.
This is where the gleaming 1,776 foot tall tower soaring majestically over Ground Zero comes into play for me – and hopefully for you, too. It’s an expression. A statement. A tangible manifestation that speaks to the invisible forces of faith, redemption and resurrection.
Of ‘beauty from ashes,’ no matter what your loss or defeat might be.
Whether the builders and planners realized it or not, this building represents the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of love over fear and freedom over bondage. It’s Jesus saying, “Whoever the Son sets free is free indeed!” And Paul echoing, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” This spirit has always animated the American dream, regardless of political agendas or currents.
To me the tower also trumpets the supremacy of resurrection power over sin, hatred, death and eternal doom apart from God’s grace and forgiveness. Yes, “the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is at work in our mortal bodies,” through the Holy Spirit. Just look at it rising above death and destruction!
We cannot be cast down or long defeated, for we have received supernatural power to rise again.
It took three days in a tomb for Jesus. It’s taken 12-plus years in development for the World Trade Center – and maybe the same for me. But resurrection comes sooner or later wherever God’s Spirit is embraced through Christ, by faith.
I pray it takes hold of your spirit and helps you tower over any obstacle and soar like never before. Let’s pray:
Thank you Heavenly Father for everything that reminds us of your amazing grace, power and love – even this magnificent Freedom Tower. We pray that your resurrection Spirit will rise and shine within us, to glorify you and bless others in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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