In the midst of working, packing for retreat, looking for permanent work, and generally living my life...I've read a lot of facebook statuses and blogs today that reflect on this day as it was 8 years ago.
Some are poignant, all are honoring, and I'm torn between focusing on that day and focusing on this day.
Do I remember?
Of course I remember.
I was 20, and in college. The world as I knew it was smaller then, and I was enjoying all that the (small, private, Christian) university life had to offer.
We were in our 8:30 music theory class when someone came in late--not an unusual thing at all, but the way he frantically interrupted the prof to tell us all to get online NOW was unusual. We were sitting in front of these awesome Mac flat screens, and we all went to CNN as our professor turned on the TV.
And we sat in horror.
Class was obviously dismissed, and we headed to the student center...because no one wanted to be alone. We crowded around the teeny tv in the lounge, never minding that there were larger tvs in some of our rooms, much less the dorm common areas. It started with about 20 of us, then grew until there were probably 200 people in the space usually taken up by less than 100.
And then something happened.
The bell tolled for chapel.
And silently, simultaneously, 200+ college students turned and walked up the hill.
Not because we had to. Chapel requirement was the last thing on our minds.
Because it was ALL WE KNEW TO DO.
Chapel was the first place I heard a sound other than a news broadcast since we first found out the news.
It was the sound of nearly 2000 people on their knees before a God who they loved, honored and adored...and didn't understand nearly as much as they had thought 3 hours before.
It was anguish, despair, hope and healing all at once.
And all we could do was believe God heard.
The rest of the day was a flurry of activity--calling friends and family in the areas affected, comforting those on campus who hadn't yet heard from their loved ones, trying to go to the American Red Cross to donate blood only to be turned away because the whole of Nashville was doing the same...
And in the midst of all that activity...God heard.
And though my world is larger today, and I stay busy
I still know that God hears.
So yes, I remember the yesterday of 8 years ago. And of course I mourn for those lives taken abruptly and too soon, and for the tragedy the world experienced--and still experiences.
But my focus is on today. Because God is here, because He hears, and because I can't change what happened then.
But I can remember, and realize how I am better now than I was before that day.
Tonight and this weekend I will be at a retreat with a youth group--some of which are to young to truly remember the events of that day.
My responsibility isn't to try to sensationalize a past they can't possibly appreciate.
My responsibility is to teach and convey to them what I've learned as a result of that past.
And that--that I can do.
As far as my experience of September 11, 2001 goes...that's all they need to know.