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“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” or “Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud”


Yes, that would be the movie.  If you haven’t seen it, please do. The emotional range of the young actor Thomas Horn was extraordinary. There were times I couldn’t’ keep up with his rants. And he deserved rants. Of all kinds.

There are plenty of “spoiler” sites so I won’t add to them. My take on this movie besides this kid’s exemplary acting skills, is not what I expected. Or maybe the movie wasn’t what I expected.

Anything having anything to do with 9/11 shakes us to the core now. Marked in American history as the worst terrorist attack on US soil, this movie depicts the heart of the pain, agony and loss we all felt. And still do.

Fortunately I had no connection to the devastation as far as human life goes. Yet, it ripped my heart out. The day the planes hit the World Trade Center, I had to explain to my daughter at 12 years of age, what had taken place. It was no easy task and one I will never forget which brings me to two points.

  1. Why were we, who witnessed this horrific portrayal of hate, living during this time in history?
  2. There was no reference that I saw (unless I missed it which is highly possible) in the movie to God. Richard Dawkins, yes, but not God.

My explanation to my daughter at the time of the attacks was interrupted by her question of “Mom, why did God let this happen? Are we bad people?”  My own emotions were running high and she was 12. God hates evil, but allows it for his own reasons and purposes but God is good and wants good for his people. 11 years later she is still asking that question.

Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

Why was I here? Why were you here? What significance was our presence, if any; have to do with the timing of the worst human inflicted disaster in American History?

I scoured the news and wept as I watched it.

My heart ached to the depths of my soul; my mind couldn’t wrap itself around the thought of what might have happened to the ones never found.

So why was I here? To pray. And pray I did. For those who died. Their families. The lost. The Medics, Police, EMT’s, Firemen, The Mayor, The President. Our country.

Phones rang across this land. It was God telling us to “wake up.”

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth”
(Psalms 145.18)

Extremely loud was the reality of a new enemy.

Incredibly close was, it hit home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 8:56 A.M. The first plane hit and nothing would ever be the same again.

Yes, it was a movie and knowing Hollywood, God Almighty, the Great I Am is not politically correct. However, “At such a Time as This” political correctness did not apply, left or got lost in translation.

God showed up to many who did not know him.

God re-appeared to those who forgot him.

God encouraged those close to him.

And for all we know, God and his Angels were all over, inside and out of the Twin Towers, down the street of New York, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa.

A movie made, 10 years after the attack without reference to God seems reprehensible to me.

But…..God was extremely close and God was incredibly loud; yet we gave him little credit for what could have been a lot more “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

We know the terrorists intentions were to do more damage and destruction than they got away with. We know they didn’t finish the job.
God finished it by stopping them.





Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved

7 thoughts on ““Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” or “Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud”

  1. “…“Mom, why did God let this happen? …”

    This question has been asked over and over since 911 and the truthful answer is: “God had to.” Why? Because God honors His word and America does not.

  2. I also asked my god why this was allowed to happen, but deep inside my soul, i knew the reasons. my mouth dropped and i was barely breathing as i was feeling the pain and loss for our brothers and sisters here in our country. it did not only affect our own country, but all other countries in a domino affect. there is plenty of hate and hate crimes, and yet god could stop it all, but why would he? he has to get everyone’s attention, everyone’s. we must all turn to god before we are damaged for all eternity

  3. To say Cathy that God willingly allows evil contradicts Scripture (see below ) God is Love and all good comes from Him not evil, we are in a fallen world and we reap what we sow good and bad and if our focus is on worldly treasures we will end up bankrupt eternally. Satan also puts us to the test seeking to prove we are his but he can only go so far and God is always with us as His redeemed Children we are keept from eternal separation from Him and He never lets our souls perish in Hell. If we suffer for doing wrong it is never God’s will and He grieves when we do or when we hurt others, He understands our suffering He has felt it and just the same as you wouldn’t willingly plan evil or willingly allow suffering for your daughter nor does God He tolerates it not wanting anyone to perish, He Loves us greatly..

    Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  4. I believe God is God, and His ways are not our ways, nor can we understand all His ways. There are many scriptures in the Word of God that speak to God’s discipline of His children. God is a God of love, but He is also a God of Justice, Perfection and Holiness, and above all He is Sovereign. We must be careful, I believe, in ascribing our own definitions to the things of God. We call evil good, and good evil, in this world, but God knows what is truly evil. To take a life is evil, and many call it murder, but to take the life of someone who’s trying to harm you, your children or spouse is self-defense. In both situations, life has been taken, so what’s the difference? Motive. God allowed the most evil thing ever if you want to look at in these terms in allowing His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, and yet His motive was a love that we in this world will never be able to understand. Discipline shows love, suffering promotes character. I don’t believe you can pick one aspect of God’s character such as His love in exclusion to the rest, and do Him or His Holy Word justice. Just my opinion, Cathy. Excellent and thought provoking article.

    • Thanks Wayne. It is so hard to explain these things especially to a child or an adult who thinks God is nothing but bad. “Why does God allow pain, hurt?” I am sure God hates it. People have the wrong idea about God: he has really been given a wrong rapp.

      You are so right in the worst event in history was the most incredible love for us. And yet how do you explain it to skeptics, or children? God allowed Paul to be beaten, imprisoned. John was beheaded after so much ridicule. Moses had to deal with the biggest complainers in the world. King David had to run from Saul, hide in caves to save his own life. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and  imprisoned for over a decade. And people wonder why we suffer. God can do no evil; but if we allow evil into our lives, we shouldn’t blame it on God. He didn’t force us; he gave us a free will to choose.

      And yet, in his great mercy he is always waiting to pick us up from our own stupidity and love us anyway.  I say that from experience.

      Cathy Craig Neil, PMIC/Guardian Property Management, LLC 803-840-1946 blog: http://www.craigmotor.wordpress.com author/columnist: http://www.believers.bay.com

  5. This looks really great. I had not heard of it, but will check it out. Thanks Naphtali.

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