I was 14 years old.
I was at church babysitting for my mom’s Bible study. I had just turned on the TV to pop in a Veggie Tales, and when I looked up there it was- the first plane crashing into the first tower.
I sat back on my knees, my mouth agape. Something of this magnitude is hard to process anyway, but at the tender age of 14 I didn’t know what to do. So I did what any normal, freaked out 14-year-old does: I cried.
I cried, and then I made the kids play with play-dough on the other side of the room while I watched the continuing coverage. I watched the second plane. I watched until the moms came to get their kids. I watched when we got home and all afternoon. I watched the next day too. And the next. I wasn’t very long in this world, but I knew mine had changed forever.
It’s been ten years now, but I am still changed. I think we all are, even if it’s in a tacit way that we can’t quiet put our fingers on.
When I woke up this morning and looked at the date on my phone I had a vivid flashback to that day, as I do every year on this date. I could still see the images moving across the television in my mind. I’m better equipped to handle emotional situations now, but pictures of the towers burning and the people caught unawares covered in ash still bring tears to my eyes. Coming to terms with mortality, realizing that there are people who hate you, who would kill you in an instant, just because of where you were born, is a hard pill to swallow. If anyone ever needed proof that man is inherently evil, this is it.
Today as I reflect, I’m praying for all the families who lost loved ones on that fateful day. I’m praying for our country and our leaders, that they can lead us well in these uncertain times. I’m praying fort us all, that we never forget, and that in the face of evil we will choose love.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?.” Matthew 5:43-47