Updated: Sep 11, 2021
I won't. I was just shy of 17. I was driving to high school listening to the Kid Kraddick morning show when Kellie Rasberry got interrupted, as she was doing a bit, with the fact that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York City. My young brain wasn't really processing this as a real story. I wasn't sure if it was some sort of odd prank or what in the world could be happening. Stuff like this happened in history books; not in my life. I continued to listen and my heart rate started to rise and my stomach turned. When I arrived to school, I walked briskly into the cafeteria to find the coverage on TV. By then, the second plane had hit and I was watching flames and smoke come from the buildings. I don't know if I really understood the magnitude of what was happening. How many lives were in that building. How many lives were on those planes. How many lives would act - running into those crumbling buildings to save instead of running away. The bell rang and I entered my pre-calculus class to hear my teacher tell me that today we weren't going to learn math; we were going to watch this horrific historic event unfold. Silently, we sat and watched.
It was a devastating day. And I will never forget. I will never forget the lives lost. The heroes that saved who they could, and many who lost their own life doing it. I will never forget the unity we felt as a country, and how much of the world came together as we mourned this tragedy. I will never forget the rippling aftermath we still experience.
I will also never forget the One who keeps us in those moments. The moments that don't make sense. That hurt so bad it doesn't seem fair or even real sometimes. The moments driven by the darkness that is so very present in our world. I will never forget the One who is our hope when we can't seem to find any. The One who is the only steady and sure thing in our lives; who is holding us in the moments when darkness seems to be winning. He is the same One holding us in moments that feel like our lifetime high...and every single moment in between. The One who loves us when we deserve anything but that.
In a time when our country, rather our humanity, finds any reason to disagree, argue and hate, I never forget that we are called to love, selflessly love, all; even those with whom we disagree deeply or we may even claim to be unlovable (based on our own standards). The Lord has no conditions when he extends grace to the most undeserving.
Jesus said himself:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another."
May we never forget this day. For it's tragedy and to honor the lives lost...always, but also for the hope we see through how we responded: in true unity and love for each other in that sacrificial way we are called to. Let it not only be in times like this; let this encourage us to live it out every day.