Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men,

Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.


What is this poem really saying? No matter how cheerfully we say it, no matter how much fun we're having, it's telling us that when we fall, when we hit Ground Zero (just as good ol' Humpty did), our fate is to just lie there in pieces. Nobody - not the king, not anyone - can help. The remainder of our lives will remain broken, disjointed - and hope is gone.

I want to lovingly assure you that hope is possible. And my purpose in writing this book is to tell you, show you, and help you experience why. I want to proclaim to you that the pieces can be put back together again, and often in such a way as to build a life that's stronger, more meaningful, more exciting and abundant than the one you knew before.

As the pages turn, I hope to relate what I saw and experienced at Ground Zero and apply those insights to your personal journey of reconstruction and renewal. In the next chapter we'll take a look at the site of the rubble from the twin towers, and relate it to how your own Ground Zero might look.


Bend or Break?


My pastor, Chuck Smith, has many words of wisdom that fit everyday living. One of the sayings of his is appropriate for this situation: "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken."

You see, Ground Zero is either going to make or break that FDNY fireman. When situations become overwhelming to us it is very natural to try to hide the pain. We want to escape the reality of the situation. This is where alcohol and drug abuse come into play. We have found in recent years there is a new opiate for the masses. It is more insidious than previous self-destructive addictions. It is called pornography. We've discovered that people with this addiction are often harder to cure than people with a heroin problem.

Yes, it is true. You can face the situation at hand or you can run from it.

Though it is painful to truthfully accept the facts and deal with the trauma, this situation can make you into a stronger person. This situation can make you become a more understanding, loving, and compassionate person. Or you can take the shortcuts to cover up your pain and discomfort and the situation will ultimately break you. If you deny the reality of your Ground Zero, the years of pain and suffering will break your spirit in the long run. No matter what you use to cover up your hurt, the situation will still be there in the morning when you wake up.

The Bible says, "God is love." And since He is a God of love, He wants you to live a fruitful, abundant life. He can reach into your heart and help you with the healing you need. Peter was an interested character. He made so many mistakes in his earlier years while following Jesus. One time he reproved Jesus for saying that He would go to Jerusalem and suffer. Another time he said: "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth...this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times" (Matt. 26:33-34). Sure enough, Peter was confronted three times by people at the judgment of Jesus, and he denied that he knew Him or that he was one of His disciples. And on the third denial the rooster crowed announcing a brand new day. Jesus just turned and looked at Peter. Needless to say, Peter was very distraught.

If that were the end of the story we would have no hope today. When Jesus was resurrected from the tomb He met Mary Magdalene in the garden. And he gave her a message: to go and tell the disciples and Peter that He had risen from the dead and that He would meet them in Galilee. Thank God He said "and Peter"! You see, He did not want the disciples to mistrust Peter or put him out of their company. He loved Peter, just as He loves you. And He knew that Peter was hurting and to become mature in his painful situation.