Today, along with the rest of America & the world, I too remember September 11, 2001.
Just typing the date triggers tears, my stomach crunches and here I sit, near sobbing. Ten years later, for me, the events of that day in New York city have become even more real. I lost no one in that tragedy, but its impact has morphed anew into a more open heart – a heart that has become more able to identify with the grief of those who did.
I’m not sure when or how this happened.
Maybe my internal monitors have finally released their ‘hold’. Maybe it has been determined that it is now safe for my mind & nervous system to accept the events of that day, in a way that I could not have done before. Because today, for the first time, I understand that not just people, but my fellow Americans were greatly damaged, greatly & tragically wounded, because their friends and loved ones suddenly & horribly lost their lives on that day of infamy.
Watching a special television program about the Pentagon Memorial last night, I found myself empathizing quickly, as though with them, or as if I knew them. Something was different. I seemed not to be afraid to step up, step closer in heart & spirit, not to be afraid to acknowledge that this unimaginable devastation really did happen, to people like me and mine. People who love their families, work hard to build their lives, who love this country, and most of whom probably love God. They, and I, cannot go back in time and undo this nightmare in history. We cannot pretend this did not happen, because it did happen, and we all of us are forever changed.
In times past, I could not relate when persons spoke of the American spirit. Today, I can. I know that it is real, and it endures. It, and the strength, grace & mercy of God in Christ are what have enabled some of the survivors of the attack on the Pentagon to want to reverse the tragedy and plant something positive & life-affirming in its place. It is what beckons to the builders & architects of the new, in-progress Trade Center towers, to create a structure better than the ones that were so brutally destroyed. It is at its root that same spirit that caused our Founding Fathers to create this nation, and multitudes of Patriots known & unknown, to die for it. It is a spirit that I believe, with all my heart, comes from the Spirit of God, which is why, against all odds, we carry on.
Today, also for the first time, I caught my own vision. For the first time, I saw what I believe can be multiplication upon multiplication of the very same process that took place in me. Within individuals, because we were and are, hated & attacked with deadly intent, can be birthed a renewed brotherly love and comradeship with God & each other. It can happen. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly, and He was not necessarily talking about big screen TV’s, Mercedes or a Trump empire. Rivers of living water flow from our bellies – from within. His ways are different from our ways, and it may be that this deep & most difficult wounding of our nation, that took place on September 11, 2001 had a Divine Purpose other than what many think.
All the promises of God in Christ are yes and Amen.