Throughout the day I’ve kept a running tab of everything that crosses my mind. Most of which are just single words that lead to greater ideas. Others are phrases or things I’ve heard that even still leave the mind trying to grasp the magnitude or emotions that are being felt on this day.
I’ve been watching all sorts of things for the past few weeks. Everything from the building of the new Freedom Tower, interviews with cameramen and news crews, President speeches and dedications, even the service that took place this morning; remembering all who have fallen and lost their lives. My heart continues to be heavy years after the devastation and it’s probably taken me 10 years to piece together why. I mean I’m just a southern girl from a small town in Southeast Texas. I was only 13 when it happened, how in the world could it impact me even years later? I mean because as a 13 year old, I had never felt that kind of hurt before. A weird thing happened on this day 10 years ago. I discovered what it means to feel others pain. And not just the grieving, I’ll cry with you pain. But the physical pain that comes with a day like today. Pain so real you heart starts racing and you can’t breathe. No child should feel that, no adult should feel that.
It would take numerous post to mention everything in detail of what I thought today. So in short…
How many children lost their parents? There was a story I heard of a lady who went straight to her daughters school to pick her up after the first plane hit. She got her daughter and they asked if she would be willing to take 8 of the other girls home because they were shutting school down. She then went to pick up her 12 year old son, who wouldn’t leave school because one of his friends had both his parents in the towers. He was scared and they didn’t want to leave him, so all the boys stayed with him. I wept when I heard this. No point in trying to hold back those tears.
Names. How many names were affected by this day. Not just the thousands of people who died. But even more names to the families who lost loved ones. Names to the children who don’t have a parent or parents anymore. Names to husbands and wives who lost their other half.
Tons of videos of firefighters rushing in. We’ve all seen the videos where they are looking up at the building that they are about to enter. I can’t begin to fathom what crossed their mind. The selflessness that comes with choosing that career. The willingness to rush in when others rush out. Those were the last faces that many people saw. Faces of heros and average people, knowingly risking their lives to help others. One story of a man who lost his life because he was holding the door for others to leave. There was risk and it didn’t matter.
They had no idea. They didn’t even think the building would fall.
The emotions in this country were so thick in the air today. The hearts of all seemed heavy.
Leadership. I’m not one to jump into a political debate, but I will say this, the leadership that was in place that day… couldn’t have been more of a God thing. A president who’s faith wasn’t something he merely spoke of, but a practice in his life. A mayor who rallied with the president to bring this country together. There was an interview (I believe it was Donald Rusmfeld), and he spoke of how there is no way a president could have made it through that time without faith. Not only faith, but practicing that faith. God put into place leaders that would have the courage to handle what was taking place. Not all will agree with the days that followed, but you knew who our president trusted in and had faith in.
Finally, with all the images and all the videos, hundreds have said it’s like a scene out of a movie. Images of ash and rubble come across the screen as if it was a 1920’s horror movie in black and white. Nightmares are where things like 9/11 happen. And even still it’s so unimaginable that you can’t believe someone could dream up this idea. What evil it takes to spur someone to murder thousands of innocent people.
After church I came home. I really kept to myself except for a few texts to the parents letting them know I loved them. Probably should have told more people. If we learn nothing else of what happened that day, may we always be willing and able to express our love for those around us. In a moments time your life here could be up. Would you be leaving those people around you with the comfort of knowing you loved them or would it be an open-ended lingering question? Though I have been silent today, my thoughts are far from silent. My heart still weighs heavy of the pain and lose that occurred on this day.
Now we look to heal. We look to move past the devastation and destruction, and see the possible future before. It’s a decision that only you can make.
We all handle pain and emotion differently. Some people hold it in, others write, many talk to loved ones, and others cry. Today brought out a lot of emotion. Whether it was anger, sadness, love, joy, hope… We all feel. My prayer is that we look to each other for support and strength when the evil in this world tries to attack. And may we remember the hope of the One who has ultimate authority. Yes, evil is ever present in this world, but we have a Savior who holds the keys to hell and he’s about to turn off the lights.
[Might have heard the keys thing at church :-)]