I had prepared and uploaded my blog for today but I set it aside late last night. I can’t get past tomorrow, September 11 or as it has become simply 9-11. There will be many words today, few will be able to capture the impact in loss of life and the realization that our enemies now had the ability to bring the horror of war to our soil. Here are a couple of things I take away from that day. Death is never an easy thing to cope with and I don’t hold much with the advice that “things will be better in time; every day it will get a little better.” Don’t believe that, I believe we just learn how to live with it or for lack of a better term tolerate the loss. Like everyone else I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Been fifteen years now and I still can close my eyes and see those people jumping from the towers. Now after all these years’ history is slowly being rewritten in that many films have been edited to remove those pictures. Why is that important? To me it is important because while I can’t say what was in their mind at that time, I prefer to believe in that moment of extreme despair they chose how they would die. First take away, how much easier is it for us who only have to choose how to live.
One of the first things that happened after it was determined that this was not a terrible mishap but was indeed a deliberate attack, was a no fly order issued for the whole country. All flights except those of military origin were grounded throughout the USA. I remember standing outside at work that afternoon and the next few days and looking up at the sky above. My second take away was that those contrails left by planes were absence from the sky. How odd it seemed. Just as a room becomes quite, no one speaking, their absence marked the silence of the skies. It was as if I was waiting to see something there that would tell me everything was going to be alright. My third take away is perhaps the one that is most imprinted on my mind and heart. As the towers fell the dust and debris of this awful destruction blotted the sun from the sky and blinded all those trapped by it. Everyone was covered to the point that there was no way to distinguish skin color or ethnicity, all were caught in a world of gray horror, dependent on the help and mercies of those closest to them. Somehow the need to take or offer a hand, to cover and shield another from the debris, to offer self in defense of another was the most striking thing I saw. We came together as a people, there was no time to shout USA, USA as would be heard much over the next few days. This may not make sense and I stand to be corrected. I believe on that day we were Americans all and in that moment we all became God’s children. (Matthew 22:39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
There is no way I could ever put to words the sacrifice of NYFD or Police, EMS or the hundreds of medical and civilian responders, there are no words that could do honor to their sacrifice. So how or where do we go from here? As a nation and a people we need to return to the good way, we need God and there is only one way…..
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Next week “Muddy Shoes”. See you in the pew…..jk