I remember where I was. Most of us who are older than 22 remember where we were. The moment we first heard.
I was getting out of my car at Babys-R-Us in Augusta Georgia. Jacob was 8 months old and I am sure we needed something baby related. I got out of my car, a stranger started talking to me, not the norm. She asked if I heard what happened. She told me. I was certain she lost her mind and was talking nonsense. Seriously. I got back in my car to quickly leave this weird situation.
Robert was at the Advanced Course for the Signal Corps, he was in class this day. My dad was in DC working, like was normal then, as a contractor.
Crazy. That is what that lady was. What was she talking about airplanes? New York City. Whatever.
Well, 17 years later we all know she was not crazy. We all remember where we were. I called Robert, he told me they stopped classes and they were all gathered around a tv watching. Horror. That’s what they were watching.
I left the parking lot before entering the store and headed back to our apartment. I tried to call my dad. Listening to that tone on the phone, anxiety rose. No calls were going through, everyone who knew anyone in DC was calling them. Everyone in DC was trying to call out.
That day changed our country. I think it changed our world, as every country watched as two iconic towers that stood so tall, fell.
Following 9/11 our country turned to God. We do that. We remember. Those weeks that passed we remembered where we find comfort in times of need. We remembered what and where our strong tower was.
Yes, 17 years later we, like the Israelites, have forgotten. They forgot who provided manna and quail to feed them. We forget the truths that ground us. They forgot the protection He gave them over and over. We forget who we are and who reminds us of that. We’ve stopped attending that church, that in our time of trial offered comfort and peace. We’ve stopped reading the Word that pours truth over us again and again. We have forgotten.
So today, as I face some tension in my day-to-day (no where near 2001), but tension none the less, I remember. Instead of letting external things define internal truths, I am trying to let them go and cling to the truths of God. Instead of letting fear and condemnation, often my constant bedfellows, take up residency in my mind and heart, I am going back to my true north. Scripture.
We remembered in 2001. Yet, in 17 years we have slipped away.
For me, when I forget and when fear creeps in I remember that faith and fear cannot occupy the same space – it is one or the other. So I kick the fear in the face, and I let faith cover me.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and goodness, by which he has granted us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of HIS divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:3-4a
As I remember that day : hours later when Robert arrived home, when I talked to my dad on the phone, when we all attended a very full church the next Sunday- my heart aches and rejoices. I remember the classmates and friends who served, some who died, some lost marriages, the list goes on and on. We remember, so we know. I let the memories define my attitude, my courage, and my heart. Today I remember so that I can cling to courage and love and grace. Those are the bedfellows I choose today.
If we remember and only mourn, then we miss the bigger picture.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
We need to remember and take heart! Today I hope that you find reasons to take heart no matter what you are facing! The best place to take heart is at the foot of the cross, in the Word of God.