“When I Look at the World” in the Aftermath of 9/11

On this day, a day when so many Americans are pausing to recall what they were doing when just a few planes changed the world, I found myself pulling out a song that I used to listen to over and over again in the weeks that followed the tragedy.  A tough song to be sure, it’s written from the perspective of someone in the midst of a crisis of faith – someone who is suddenly struggling to see the world in the way that YHWH sees it.  And with more than just a hint of Psalmnic angst and rage, “When I Look at the World,” by U2, became a balm to my soul on days that I struggled to understand what God was doing.  So tonight, I offer it to you in remembrance of the thousands of people that lost their lives on the day of the attack, and in remembrance of the tens of thousands that have died in the two wars that have followed.

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6 Responses to “When I Look at the World” in the Aftermath of 9/11

  1. I think my favorite aspect of this song is the unexpected turn it takes in the very last line. After venting and pleading with God over the course of four minutes, the singer finally collapses and asks the right question: “Tell me, tell me, what’s wrong with me?”

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    I can relate to the song association. When 9/11 happened, the song I kept on playing again and again was “Who is this King of Glory?” by Third Day. I don’t know if I ever saw the connection with it with 9/11 lyrically other than the fact that I just heard the song the day before and also because I wanted to go before the LORD with everything. 9/11 has brought about such a bloody decade–one I could not have imagine then as a 18 year old who was just sworn in a few weeks before, enlisting in the Marines and waiting to be shipped off to boot camp. I think the last 11 years taught me that we can be impatient for God’s justice to occur but surely His day of reckoning will come soon when one look back and reflect on it.

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