September 11: thoughts and a poem

Senior year began the Tuesday before everything changed. Both of my brothers had already left for college. I heard the news about 9:30 in the morning. Environmental science class was ending and the word of what was happening in New York City slowly spread through my high school.

The day could not end fast enough. I just wanted to go home and watch the news for myself. I couldn’t discuss the events or add to the speculations. I needed to sit there and listen to each commentator on the television. That was the only way I could absorb the reality of the situation.

I sat. I listened. I watched. I started to understand. And doubts grew in my heart.

There was much I couldn’t comprehend my senior year, much I wanted to leave behind. I wrestled with many questions. I couldn’t make sense of the why and how of a terrorist attack. I couldn’t accept the loss of so many lives and wake up the same the next day.

September 11, 2001 changed me. It changed the way I saw the world and for a long time I struggled to see past the brokenness. All I noticed was the mess in the world, my desire to move on from high school, and the ugly cracks in my own heart.

The goodness of the Lord was hiding and I needed time to break the giant walls. I needed to see a new picture, a new reality, the one He slowly whispered to me in the struggles and the silence. He was still with me.

He never left me, even when I didn’t understand and I felt alone.

*******

Two years ago I wrote a poem:

ten years ago

ten years ago, the 11th of september
a day not forgotten, we will remember
where we were when everything changed.
the lives of americans forever rearranged
by uncertainty, loss, such immense pain
that tuesday morning – the crash of a plane
one hit, then two, the moment so brief
the day long ago left us with a lasting grief.