In 2001, I was a stay-at-home mom of four little ones ages 1, 3, 5 and 9. I was a part-time bookkeeper for our insurance agency and actively involved in leading women's ministry at s small church of around 200. My life was busy, but safe.
On the morning of 9/11, I was about my normal routine. Still in pajamas and robe, I was cleaning up breakfast in the kitchen when the images began to come across the tv in the living room. I remember Mark calling me to come see. At that point the first tower was smoking. I remember trying to guard my children while wanting to openly gape at the tragedy. Once the first tower fell, I'm sure I did what millions of us did - I began to make calls. I wanted to know that my own loved ones were safe.
My daddy answered the phone, which was unusual because he was normally at work around 7 am. Turns out it was his day off and he and my mom were hard at work on some project around the house. I told him about what was going on and he turned on their TV. We shared our disbelief at what was happening and spent about 20 minutes reassuring each other that all was well. At the end we said I love you and hung up.
That was the last time I spoke to my daddy. Seven days later he suffered a massive brain aneurysm and within a few hours, slipped from this earth.
9/11 holds not only a horrific memory, but also a precious one for me. I am forever grateful that in the midst of attack and tragedy, I had a moment that would grace me for years to come.
I pray with a special compassion for those who lost their loved ones on that awful day. I feel somewhat related to them, as my own loss was near to theirs. I do not imagine that my loss is as difficult, and realize that I am blessed because I do not mourn as those who have no hope.
Collectively, as the CHURCH, we weep for the work of forgiveness that must be done in each of us and pray that those who are left to pick up the pieces would find the same grace and comfort in the arms of Jesus as we rest in each day.