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Ray Parascando - September 12, 2021

September 11, 2001, Twentieth Anniversary Service

As we remember the twentieth anniversary of September 11, 2001. Crossroads Church is joined by one of our own members, Denise Esposito, to share her story after losing her husband in 9/11. Pastor Ray also delivers today’s message, God’s Message Of Comfort About Denise & Her Book, Answering The Call: The Lives Of The Unsung Heroes After 9/11 I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, a couple of blocks away from a Double R Train Station and St. Rosalie’s Church. St. Rosalie’s was an old church with a dark interior ladened with wooden pews with velvet cushions. Early on, masses were spoken in Latin. Later, they put a beautiful statue of the Pieta out front which enhanced the church’s appearance. How I loved passing that statue on my way to the Italian bakery for a loaf of crusty hot bread. I could feel Mother Mary’s pain, her anguish, and deep love for her son lying limp in her arms. What comfort was found in knowing that Jesus suffered and died for us! How much pain do we endure before realizing how truly broken we are without guidance from a higher power? Brooklyn was once known to be the borough of churches. I’ve always lived near the sounds of trains for some reason. They now seem to comfort me. They remind me of my humble past. I’ve grown used to them. Loud and noisy, racing to and fro. The trains would whistle to me, “Keep going, keep going,” they would rumble. “Just keep going.” Life, to me, is like a train station. The train has no choice but to keep going. We have no choice but to keep going. Sometimes we get off at different stops, but ultimately, we reach our destination. For some people, that destination comes quicker than others and, as for me, I’m still on my life’s journey, learning and growing. When I look back on my life, I see one constant force that has pushed me thus far; a force so great, so undeniable that it cannot be disputed. I’ve seen it first-hand in my husband’s short life, in his transformation, and his faith journey towards agape love. This book is meant to encourage those who have lost their faith, their hope, and maybe got off at the wrong station, people who have come to the end of their train ride only to question, “Is this all there is? Where is the joy? Why so much hatred and pain?” I have come to realize that life is a fight, my friend. It’s a constant fight to ward off evil, to stand for what’s right. To keep doing good until the end. To put on our boxing gloves and duke it out. In order to become all that we were meant to be, we must be active, not inactive. We must keep moving forward. Setting examples by action, not by mere words. Building character, acting with love towards one another. Being more like the Good Samaritan, letting our light shine on the darkness. It takes courage, my friend...courage to live life unafraid. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s for the warriors who are ready to go into battle. Invincible warriors. Strong, mighty, powerful, and unafraid. People who shine their goodness and light on dark situations realize that it takes precious time, resources, and action, but they still march forth! Without the notes, prayer, cards, tokens of love, blankets, quilts, and yes, even a sweet teddy bear, my world would have seemed extremely empty. After 9/11, good people came from all over the country to encourage and uplift my inconsolable family. Their hearts broke for us, and they acted with love. Being grateful doesn’t seem to cut it for all the many unsung heroes who helped us through it all. It is with gratitude and love that our family’s story is told here. It is because of their great love that we are so blessed and now, because of their influence and strength, our lives shine brightly with healing, and great hope and success for the future! We will never forget. We will always answer the call. Get Denise's Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FFYKY16?ref_=k4w_ss_dp_lp_uc

Scripture References: 2 Corinthians 2:1-10

From Series: "September 11th Twentieth Year"

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