I remember that day.
I remember the world grieving as one.
I remember Congress singing God Bless America on the Capital steps.
I remember the heroes of that day too. The firefighters. The police. The military. The FBI. The men and women aboard the four planes that changed our world. The doctors and nurses and EMS personnel who cared for the injured. The priests and pastors who comforted the grieving. The family members of those who died.
I remember the candles lit around the world.
Our prayers. Our tears. Our unity.
I pray we don't forget. I won't. My children won't. I pray we're different because of it. More compassionate. More dependent on God. And more willing to fight on our knees for the things that matter.
Love. Family. Unity. Peace.
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying
On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color, and creed
On Tuesday they were all holding hands
On Monday we thought that we were secure
On Tuesday we learned better
On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes
On Tuesday we relearned what hero meant
On Monday people went to work at the world trade centers as usual
On Tuesday they died
On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property
On Tuesday the same people all said, "God help us all" while thinking, "Thou shalt not kill"
On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids
On Monday people picked up McDonalds for dinner
On Tuesday they stayed home
On Monday people were upset that their dry cleaning was not ready on time
On Tuesday they were lining up to give blood for the dying
On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang "God Bless America"
On Monday we worried about the traffic and getting to work late
On Tuesday we worried about a place crashing into your house or place of business
On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived
On Tuesday we saw people celebrating people dying in the USA
On Monday some children had solid families
On Tuesday they were orphans
On Monday the president was going to Florida to read to children
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children
On Monday we emailed jokes
On Tuesday we did not
It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.
~ Author Unknown
Is This Normal?
Four thousand gathered for a mid-day prayer in a downtown cathedral.
A New York City church, filled and emptied six times last Tuesday.
The owner of a Manhattan tennis shoe store threw open his doors and gave running shoes to those fleeing the towers.
People stood in lines to give blood, in hospitals to treat the sick, in sanctuaries to pray for the wounded.
America was different this week.
We wept for people we did not know.
We sent money to families we've never seen.
Talk-show hosts read Scriptures, journalists printed prayers.
Our focus shifted from fashion hemlines and box scores to orphans and widows and the future of the world.
We were different this week.
Republicans stood next to Democrats.
Catholics prayed with Jews.
Skin color was covered by the ash of burning towers.
This is a different country than it was a week ago.
We're not as self-centered as we were.
We're not as self-reliant as we were.
Hands are out.
Knees are bent.
This is not normal.
And I have to ask the question, "Do we want to go back to normal?"
Are we being given a glimpse of a new way of life?
Are we, as a nation, being reminded that the enemy is not each other and the power is not in ourselves and the future is not in our bank accounts?
Could this unselfish prayerfulness be the way God intended for us to live all along?
Maybe this, in HIS eyes, is the way we are called to live.
And perhaps the best response to this tragedy is to refuse to go back to normal.
Perhaps the best response is to follow the example of Tom Burnet.
He was a passenger of flight 93. Minutes before the plane crashed in the fields of Pennsylvania he reached his wife by cell phone. "We're all going to die," he told her, "but there are three of us who are going to do something about it."
We can do something about it as well.
We can resolve to care more.
We can resolve to pray more.
And we can resolve that, God being our helper, we'll never go back to normal again.