A time to remember. If you want to join in sharing your memories of 9-11, Shannon has set up a link: At Rocks in My Dryer.
Strange- I remember details- but they are more like a twisted fishing net, than an organized mesh of time and circumstance. The time frame is confused in my mind. This is what I remember- confused, frightened and prayer filled as it is:
Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were chatting away, just like every day. The kids were at school, I was pregnant, I had just finished throwing up.
Matt and Katie’s chatter stopped. The cameras went to the Towers. A plane had hit.
“What a terrible accident” I thought. Matt and Katie’s words echoed my thoughts.
I was watching when the second plane hit. I don’t remember ever watching people die before.
I don’t remember much more of what Matt and Katie said. I saw the pictures, that was enough.
“It isn’t an accident. Oh Lord Jesus, we’re under attack” was my first thought.
“I want my kids” was my next one.
I called my husband- crying. I told him him to come home.
I went to throw up again. It wasn’t morning sickness that time.
“Where is EVERYONE?” I mentally took roll call for our scattered and business traveling friends and family. Everyone was accounted for.
I was so glad my husband was in town.
I went back to the TV. I hated watching- but, had never felt more dependant on it as a source of information in my life.
“Should I go get the boys from school? Or should I leave them there?- they may be safer.”
Safer from a plane falling from the sky? Somehow it made sense at the time.
Then- I heard, The Pentagon had been hit. The Pentagon? Is anybody safe? I listened for airplanes, the way we listen for tornadoes after the storm alarm goes off, this was NOT a drill.
Another plane had crashed.
The Towers fell, one after another. Then they were GONE.
The announcement that US airspace was “Closed” comforted and scared me at the same time.
“We are under attack. What do you do when you’re under attack?” I thought.
I checked the fridge for supplies. I went to the basement, and scanned it…. “Well if we go here for tornado warnings, maybe we could go here for a plane crashing….”
It was crazy- but somehow it made me feel like I was doing SOMETHING. Preparing, just in case.
“Oh Jesus- please God protect us, oh God be present in these peoples last moments, comfort them, reach out to them, and to the families who are left behind”
I held my breath.
As though holding my breath could stop time.
I called the school. I prayed the phone would be answered, not beep that awful busy tone.
The secretary answered. The school had a plan for safety. The police were there, for protection. Yes- some children were being picked up. The children were told that something serious had happened, but that they were safe. The school had information coming in, the kids were not exposed to the constant barrage of images and stories no child should have to see.
In my years of pastoral counseling I had learned that there ARE things to protect your kids from, when you can. We would talk to them later about the whole thing- and since they were in the upper elementary ages- we’d watch some coverage together- later. But we’d limit it.
My husband arrived home.
With all the faith we could muster, we decided it was better for them to stay at school, so we could watch the coverage, and know what was going on.
For the rest of the day- we passed between prayer, fear and heartbreak. The stories started to come in of peoples’ experiences. It was too much. Too sad and too real.
I remember feeling like it must either be a nightmare- or some awful scary movie. It wasn’t.
Finally- I remember the quiet.
I had never noticed how much noise planes made flying overhead. Until there were none. Over time I started to hear the ocassional loud drone of airplane engines- deep abnormal sounding engines. I remember a moment of panic. Then my husband said-
“Yep, that’s a blah blah something something fighter plane” (that’s what I heard- though I know he said something much more technical than that)
A fighter plane. This is not an airshow. This is our new world. A world where Terrorists will try to kill you, just because you’re an American. I prayed……
“God, I don’t know what you’re doing, or why you’re allowing this, but I pray that people will come to know you- that they will not turn away from you because of this. I hate this God—- people are dying and my heart is breaking. Please help us God. I love you amen.”
My prayer today-
“Dear Lord Jesus- I pray that you would continue to heal and give comfort to those who suffered so much- on 9-11 friends lost, family members lost, parents and child, lost, innocence lost.
I pray for peace Lord- I pray for peace for our nation, I pray for peace for the world. I pray that you’d give faith to us where we’re lacking and that we’d trust you in all circumstances. I thank you for being there when we prayed on 9-11- and for hearing our prayers on EVERY day.
Lord- I pray that we would never forget the lives that were lost in the name of hatred. I pray that you would change the hearts of men- and women- that all would love and serve you, and learn to love each other in the way that you love us . amen.
*****New Post is up at Missional Mom… if your looking for something a bit more heartwarming…..Click here: Skittles and Sprite