Some moments from September 11th, 2001 are etched in my memory like names on a tombstone. The first fuzzy awareness in the pre-dawn darkness that something was wrong--what was Hero Husband saying? Airplane? World Trade Center? Coming fully awake to look through my TV-window-on-the-world only to see the crystal clear New York City sky and realizing it could be no accident. Smoke pouring from the gaping hole in one tower . . . and then there were two! Instant knowing--terrorists! It had to be! Firemen, ambulances, police, reporters, terrified people running pell mell to get away from the surreal devastation behind and above them. Me trying not to sound strange and scared and tight when it was time to get the kids up for school--would there be any school? Suddenly everything was a question mark! Brain on fire trying to think, make sense of something, anything, should I make lunches? How could I do anything but watch and listen and hope someone knew what was going on. THE PENTAGON!! OUR PENTAGON?! NO WAY! A slight shudder . . . one tower turned to sand before my eyes and fell in a fountain of ruin. Papers flew, people fell . . . and jumped. The other tower soon joined her twin and crumbled into expensive dust mixed with precious blood.
No! No! No! Our hearts cried! This doesn't happen here!!
But it did happen here. As I walked my kids to school with trepidation in my step, eyes skyward, wondering where that fourth plane would come down, I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. The finality of that realization coupled with the blank grey the future had suddenly become, made me passionately and vividly thankful that I know where my eternity lies! I talked to my kids with certainty that no matter what happens here on earth, we know that God is incapable of losing us. We could go forward in confidence, because no terrorist could make God leave our side!
Over the next hours and days, we cried a river of tears for all that was lost that awful morning. We mourned for the dead and their families left to miss them. We cried out to God and reached out to each other. We were united in a new wave of patriotism and brotherhood, and we flew flags! Oh the flags!! Strange as it may sound, I miss those days--our hearts were broken and our sense of security was shattered, but we were together, we needed, we loved.
I am more confident than ever that God can and will keep us through anything. The last 12 years have been a roller coaster in every way you can think of, but God is breathtakingly constant.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 NIVWhat a comfort that is!! He doesn't change. He is not rocked by earth's paroxysms and upheavals. He is always Himself, always transcendent and always intimately immediate.
Etched more deeply, more clearly, in bigger letters than the impressions of the infamous and violent paradigm shift that happened in our world and in our hearts on September 11, 2001, is this truth promised to His children:
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10 NIV
We must never forget!
We must never forget!
Edited from the archives.