Reflections of 9/11 and More

Small graphic showing ground zero of the 9/11 attacks with an American Flag on the left.

Like many other people, I can clearly remember that day eighteen years ago when my daughter called me from Texas to tell me to turn on the television news. I was up and getting ready for work, but my husband was still asleep – an ironic turn around from the years he was up early and I was still asleep.

Anyway, I heard a note of panic in my daughter’s voice, so I went to the living room and switched on my television.  My daughter was still on the line, and we both watched in horror as the second plane hit. I was stunned. Not even sure I could go to work, but I had to. I was working as a chaplain in a hospital at the time, and I thought of all the patients who were feeling the emotional impact of this tragedy on top of the hardships they were already experiencing.

If ever they needed a chaplain, it was that day.

I’ll never forget the somber atmosphere in the hospital. Or the special chapel service we had. Or the many stories that people shared that day of family and friends for whom they were concerned. We were far away in Omaha, Nebraska, but many of the patients had ties to people in New York and Washington DC where the two major attacks happened.

Slowly throughout the day the news was good for the majority of the patients, and we shared prayers of thankfulness.

So today, I will remember the people I worked with in the Pastoral Services Department, and the peace they helped to bring to people that day. I will also pause a moment to thank all the people who stepped up in spectacular ways to save others, especially those who willingly gave their lives to crash that plane in a field in Pennsylvania rather than let it continue to it’s target in Washington.

Heroes are not people who excel at sports. Heroes are people who make that ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of others.

How are you marking the anniversary of that tragic day? I always give a listen to Alan Jackson’s memorable song, “Where Were You When the World Stood Still?” Brings goosebumps every time.

Ending with this day of reflection with something that a friend sent me. A woman my friend knows sends these daily devotionals, and this one is relevant for everyone who believes in a God, no matter what name you give Him or Her. And I do think it has some merit for those who believe in no god, as all humans are connected to some spirit that brings peace and calm to lives.

Maybe it’s especially relevant today.

When I remember to, and I’ll admit I’m really bad at remembering, I take time to just sit, do some Yoga breathing, then pray. There are so many people in need of grace and support during difficult times, and my list of names mentioned grows. Today I’ll pray especially for the families that were so personally affected by the horror that was 9/11.

So, perhaps you will find this reflection helpful in encouraging you to find down time to refresh your own spirit.

“The way of this world is a never-ending to-do list hanging over our heads, creating our mind set of I must do this, and I must do it now! Steadily and gradually are not ideas that resonate with most of us. We are always in a hurry.  We want it now! Whatever it is, sooner, quicker, now is the answer we want. I am not sure if we are incapable of or afraid of having any down time.

“We only have one day at a time. Once that day is over, it will never come again. We can never relive our yesterdays or live our tomorrows before they become today. We have a choice; try to see how quickly we can waste today by checking things off a never-ending list or take time to enjoy resting in God’s presence. Resting in God’s presence allows his grace to steadily increase our strength, gradually making us a better person and certainly bringing us closer in our relationship with Him.”

Made available by Jane Hauth, a retired lawyer & teacher who gets up early every morning and spends time in meditation and prayer.

That’s all for today from me folks. I do hope you have a pleasant Monday, despite the anniversary we honor today in the U.S.

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