As I went to bed last night, I checked my social media feed for any recent updates from friends who live on the east coast. The recent hurricane headed their way has drastically increased power and now looms to cause havoc and devastation in its wake.
As I scrolled down, posts included what may have happened the night before September 11, 2001. Men and women who were preparing for travel, another shift at the station, another day of meetings and work. No one knew what was to come less than twelve hours later.
As Americans, 9/11/01, as it is often written, has become the rally cry to our generation, just as the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was to my grandparents. The heartache, loss, suffering, and grief felt by so many cannot be adequately described, even today.
Many post the question, Where were you when you heard the news? I know of course, just as I know where I was when the shooting at Columbine High School happened, or when the Berlin Wall fell, when the Beirut barracks bombing occurred, when the Iran hostages were released, and when President Reagan was shot. Just as my folks remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot.
These events mark time in before and after moments.
Speak with a person who is a service member in the Armed Forces. Many tell time as pre-9/11 and post-9/11 events, even asking those who are active duty when they joined, before or after.
My sons were only one and two years old at the time. They were still innocent, still secure in their lives because they had their mom and dad who loved them. They did not understand why the skies were silent over our home. Normally busy due to flight patterns for a regional airport, with all flights grounded until further notice, it was eerily quiet.
September 11, 2001 is now a part of my sons’ high school history books. Something that is part of the curriculum and yet still very close to many of the teachers at the front of the classroom.
This day brought so many to churches, synagogues, to homes where loved ones gathered. People hugged, cried, prayed, talked, and watched their television in shock. I sat with my two little boys in my lap watching in my parent’s basement. Just as I had watched in the days following Columbine, the basement was the deepest and closest place I could go and feel secure and like I could exhale.
I do not have answers – even now- for why. Why it happened, why God allowed it, why so many were killed, why, why, why. I can only turn and trust. Turn to God and trust Him and His perfect plan. He loved and cared about each person who woke up that morning and stood before Him before the end of the day. He still loves those who were left behind.
I do not have platitudes or any other word to comfort those who still hurt today. I can only offer to you, what I offered in the past, in 2001 and every year since. I will listen, I will cry, I will hug, I will pray.
Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, they are the only offering I have. In my own trials, pain, loss, and sorrow, they have been enough. Even in this, they can still be enough. If you allow them into your pain. Your anger, your sorrow. Your apathy. Say their name, invite them in. Allow them to hold you. Even today, even now.
First Chronicles 16:11 says the same thing, Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Seek Him this day. He is enough every day.