Friday, September 12, 2008

Why I Remember 9/11 on 9/12

There was a lot of talk yesterday about "where were you when you found out?" and that sort of thing. I told my story then, at least on twitter, but it's not very interesting.

What's interesting is how 9/11 is redeemed on 9/12.

If you'll recall, the 11th was on a Tuesday in 2001, so the 12th fell on a Wednesday. My church was due to meet for our twice-monthly Wednesday get-together that night (we didn't meet every Wednesday, just the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month). For that meeting, the staff prayed about what to do. They knew people would be sad; they'd be asking questions of God.

Rather than trying to force something artificial, giving a talk that people might or might not relate to, microphones were placed in the aisles so that people could share their stories. Their questions. Their hope.

We ended with this.



Call me a radical optimist, but I'd rather recall the hope of this than the tears from the 11th -- the bonding and oneness that we felt then.

If only we could have held on to that one wonderful outcome longer.

4 comments:

Monica @ Paper Bridges said...

me too. that's why I posted scripture. I'd much rather focus on that.

Heather said...

Me and my firefighter mumbled through this song that very same night in Cincinnati. It occurred to me at some point those hymns weren't just comforting us, but probably God, too. Imagine the grief he felt that day.

Tammy said...

I remember that. It was a very solemn night that brought up a lot in a lot of people and a place where healing began...
Thanks for the memory.

Page said...

Dude, I love this story. Hope burgeoning out of tragedy....Something beautiful also came out of my September 11th story. This feels like an appropriate place to share: On September 11, 2001, I had just been in a journalism class, where we'd talked about how this country wasn't immune to disaster. I'd gone to sleep after class, and my roommate woke me up with the TV. I sat, watching....stunned, and identified with the survivors left in the wake. I read books like "A Tempered Faith" and the story of the woman who'd put her faith in God the day before the crash had been trapped under rubble for hours/days before rescuers got to her, and found her alive. This event was in the papers - in all countries and languages, and I researched them all...A year later, I was in my first creative class (intro to creative advertising, about 300 students, VERY competitive, led into portfolio 1, THE creative training program that I very much wanted to be a part of). We were asked to do a creative mind map (a project that documents where your thoughts go on paper with words and pictures laid out like a map), and I did mine on lives in the aftermath of 9/11. I constructed two lines that looked like towers - looking at it from one perspective, the towers are shining and gold, pointing to life and hope, with brotherhood and funds to care for poor and orphaned as healing results. But if you turn it upside down, the towers are black and billowing with smoke...with chaos, confusion, and utter despair as the results. Looking back on it, I realize that this was a critical season, one that would make or break my budding artistry. I'm not sure I believed in myself, but I ended up getting a 100...Maybe a handful of people in the course got that grade...Even years after, I still wasn't convinced that I was creative....until I was sitting on my couch about 4 years later, thinking about things...Life had become lackluster, and I realized that I hadn't used my gifts in years...and compared to what people endured in that trial, my half-hum complaints didn't even compare. I looked up at the wall - and my mom framed the artwork I made for the creative class so long before. Seeing it, I realized that my creativity was a reality...With that creativity, I'm sure you've heard that I'm headed to use that to support a rock and roll band that promotes positive messages to the youth in Australia. My life course is literally changed because of the hope that came from the aftermath of that day....