Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago, today, I was watching smoke billow from New York's World Trade Centers. Six hours away at my grandma's house, I was laying on the living room floor watching the old TV set. I remember everything that ran through my 8 year old mind. I was shocked. Concerned. Nervous. Wondering why; wondering how. I was calm, though. I felt safe with my family in quaint, little Collins - far away from planes and broken building.

Now, ten years later, I'm watching the same footage I watched then, and I can't breathe. I never can when I hear the stories from that day. People went to work that day thinking they'd be back home in time for dinner. Fiances never got to exchange vows with their other halves. Young firemen learned early on just how far sacrifice had to go. All of it's hard to see and listen to, again, because it's so surreal and horrible. My younger sister asked if we had to watch the specials and footage. I nodded slowly. People wonder why I would want to watch and "relive" something so terrible and miserable. But I have to watch. I have to hurt. I have to see people running through Manhattan, terrified they'll be enveloped by the black smoke. I have to watch interviews of little boys who never got to see their heroic fathers again. I have to see the pictures and names. I have to sob! This was so huge. And just because my life wasn't devastated on that day, doesn't mean what happened shouldn't greatly affect me. My soul is brought to a sorrowful silence when I see video of people trapped in the top of the buildings choose to jump, rather than face whatever horrific chaos was inside. That's heartbreaking. What kind of conditions force that thought anywhere near your mind?

Sacrifice is a beautiful thing. And the way it was demonstrated on the 11th still touches my heart. To run into a 110-story building that's bound to collapse, so that you could help your fellow firemen save those who need you? To band together as passengers - as Americans -to purposefully crash the plane into a vacant field, so it doesn't kill anyone but those on board? Both require one thing: Selflessness. It required caring about someone else more than they cared about getting home to their family. They had to decide and they had to decide quickly. And when they chose, they chose to die for their conviction. For, most likely, people they didn't know.

All of it makes me depend on Christ, and I'm just so relieved and grateful that He has the whole world in His hands. He was completely sovereign over what happened, just as He's sovereign over what will happen. And terrorists and explosions won't change that. So, through the unknown, we can find certainty in our God:
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call. - Psalm 20:6-9

Tomorrow, I'm going to be playing in the ocean with my family. I'll be enjoying the warm sun and sand... and life will keep going after that. But I won't forget what happened on September 11th, 2001. I'll remember those who sacrificed their lives to save others, those who died so suddenly, and the events the Lord ordained our nation would go through.
Never forget.

1 comment:

Andrea Grace said...

This really touched me. Thanks, Rachel.