I stayed home that morning when Phil drove Andrew to school in Denver. Sitting in my bed, cuddling Jacob, I watched Fox News as we all tried to piece together the reasons for a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center Towers. My dad was a pilot, my brother is a pilot. . .I couldn’t for the life of me understand why. We made our way downstairs to the living room and I opened the TV cabinet doors to a world as I had known it falling apart.
Watching the second plane hit. Chills traveled down my neck. I immediately picked up the phone and asked Phil if he was listening to the news. “Go get Andrew and get home.” Denver is a big city. During that hour, we didn’t know what was happening other than it was evident that this was intentional and we had no idea what city, plane, building, or field was next.
Over the course of two more planes and loss of life, I joined many in our nation as I searched the house for our American Flag. I see it in a slow motion play back as my husband made his way home with Andrew. Neighbors on a busy block hanging our stars and stripes on poles, sides of homes and mail boxes. As I tacked up my last moments of freedom as we knew it back then, I wondered if this was how my Great Grandparents felt in Germany. . .or my Grandparents felt during Pearl Harbor.
Even my own children do not know the reality of the loss of that day.
The freedom we said goodbye to. . .the thousands of lives taken. . .the trauma and pain of generations past and to come in the moment that will forever simply be defined as 9/11.
The silence in the sky in the days to come was both scary and sad. Our flight path nestled in the foothills that always left the sky painted with Airplane art was now clear and still. There was an uncertainty in the air. But God was there.
Today, I took a moment in our Homeschool day to reflect on our America before, during and after that fateful day. I previewed a documentary on the “Falling Guy.” A picture taken in a single moment capturing the leap of a man from his torture to his imminent death.
My children weren’t in the room with me as I cried and gasped and sobbed. Have we forgotten who we were? Have we heard the term 9/11 so often that it’s just another Historical lesson? Are these people we watched perish even real to us?
Is 9/11 really real to you? To your children?
When it isn’t real to you- it won’t move you. And if it doesn’t move you- then your life cannot change.
You remain the same.
Like the death of Christ. . .when we really take in the depths of intense suffering and what that sacrifice did for us, we then can reflect on the ugly. . .such as Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection- it becomes real. It moves us and we are changed from life old to the new.
While watching the man falling to his death from the tower- I also watched the horror of by standers watching as I did. . .hand over our mouths, crying, and saying, “Oh my God.” The heat from the fire- the burning skin- the lack of oxygen was so intense that for some the leap out of a window proved to be the only relief. For those of us watching the devastation that day, our hearts literally hurt in our helplessness.
It was so profound to see such loss of life in such great numbers. Good people were lost that day. Innocent people were lost that day. It moved many to change laws, to review our way of living. We FELT it. . .and it changed us.
When waving to a neighbor in our small country town- When passing a school bus full- when finding a seat on a full flight. . .we glance at faces and let them go. Do we dare ask them if they know Jesus? Do we care? Do we stand there with hand on mouth, tears in our eyes, and say “Oh my God” you need to hear about Jesus and the way to Heaven.
It’s not real to us is it? Death and the life after just isn’t real enough to motivate us to get up. . .talk to others about Christ and in an hour of desperation, love and helplessness. . .we should be tripping over each other to spread the word. The warning that there is a day when this life will pass and those not in Christ will suffer immense torture. Why are we watching these people figuratively “leaping” to their deaths without sorrow? Do we care?
My husband and I are in the process of adopting. We have a love for a child we have never met. There is a burning in my heart for the orphan, the lost child. . .the one who needs to know they have an adoptive parent more loving than I that wants to rescue them. . .love them and one day take them home.
It is urgent to spread the word. Perhaps because I’m getting older and life is seemly shorter and flying by me. The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. That through the trials of this broken world, there is a God that loves us unmeasurably; and He has made a way for us to live with him in Paradise forever. It is because of this good news that we can face the end of this world, knowing the next is better!
There is a world full of good people perishing. . .so why do we stand still?
For me. . .waking up on September 12 seemed hopeless. It was the first morning of many mornings after. As after the death of our own child. . .you learn to first open your eyes. . .you tell yourself to breathe and then you cry out to God to walk you through the day. There can be joy found even in this broken world. The Hopeless is replaced with Jesus, our hope in a desperate time of need. He is our joy and our reason for the journey.
Many mornings in still full consciousness- before I open my eyes- the words from that song run through my head. . .”in the morning when I rise…in the morning. . .when I rise. . .in the morning when I rise. . .
Give Me Jesus