It was a Tuesday morning. I had just graduated college that previous May and was living at home as I tried to determine where God was calling me next. I was full of so much hope. Yet little did I know that the events of this day would be a megaphone for where God was leading me next. I was curled up on the couch watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie when our Dad walked into the house. He asked if I had on the news and I said no. He told me to turn on the news, so I grabbed the remote and changed the channel. The images on the screen were gutwretchingly painful. I could feel the pit in my stomach and saw the looks of disbelief on my Dad's face. I desperately wanted to turn the channel back to Laura Ingalls, but I couldn't. Neither of us could. We were paralyzed by the events unfolding in front of us.
And while those events were unfolding on our televisions, new lives were being born into this world; into a world that had been changed in just a few moments. I think of my friend Emily who was in labor with her daughter Liz on this day. As Liz celebrates her 14th birthday, her mom can't help but remember what was going on outside her hospital room and the hospital walls that day. I have a feeling Emily and a lot of moms held their children closer and didn't want to let them go.
For the weeks after, it seemed the world was a better place. We were kinder to each other. We were more respectful of each other. We held our loved ones even closer. We even clung tighter to our faith. Yet today, it sometimes feels like we have forgotten the days following 9-11. We aren't always so nice to each other. We take life for granted. And my friends, I don't want that for us. I want us to remember...remember those lives that were lost that day...remember the light found in Jesus Christ who is our one constant.
Not a month after 9-11, I found myself touring Wartburg Seminary with my friend Pauline. From the moment, I stepped on that campus I felt God calling me into ministry. I wasn't sure what that ministry would look like, but I heard God loud and clearly that day. God was calling me to be a woman who would pick up basin and towel and wash the feet of all God's people. God was calling me to show Jesus' example of servanthood to the world.
Not only did my life change, but all of our lives changed on that horrific September day. In the words of my friend Katie M. Reid on her Periscope today, we write to remember! Indeed we do...we write to remember! And so tonight, I write to remember all of those who lost loved ones at the World Trade Centers, or at the Pentagon or on Flight 93. #Wewillneverforget!!
(This link will take you to a poem I wrote four years ago for the 10th anniversary of 9-11. I hope you enjoy it. It is one of my favorite pieces I have ever written! Ten Years Later by Tara L. Ulrich)