Friday, September 11, 2009
Let Freedom Ring
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
I was at a women’s prayer meeting, praying for our children, our country, when someone ran in with the news. A plane had crashed into one of the towers. We listened to the radio reporting the surreal information, we prayed, we listened and we prayed some more. Our husbands were down there, in the city. We would have no contanct with them for the next several hours. The city was “locked down”, which means no one can get in or get out. The train that my husband left on that morning could not return.
We each went home to be near our phones in case a husband should call. The phone lines were so jammed up no calls could get through to us. I waited. I prayed. I listened to the radio for updates. I appeared calm so my small daughter would not worry. The words from that REM song played over in my mind “it’s the end of the world as we know it”, but I was not feeling fine. I waited and waited and made a big pot of lentil soup. If my husband did come home he would be hungry and he may be bringing with him people who no longer had a home. Finally he did come home to us, Thank God. But so many others did not. As the days went by the communter parking lot became an eerie monument. Whenever we drove by it you could see all those cars whose drivers would never return to them. For each car a family was waiting. I have the same sick feeling in my stomach today as I remember those cars. So many cars. As more bodies were unearthed another image of cars was burned into my memory. Funeral processions, lines of cars everywhere, for weeks.
I recall also an unspoken bond with everyone I came into contact with, a bond of seeing this happen and still being alive. On that sept. 12th I was on line in a grocery store. The woman behind me had clearly just finally made her way back from the city. She was disheveled, she had on a rumpled business suit from the day before. She had a glazed faraway look in her eyes. As I was leaving I was taken aback by her small purchase, a bottle of water and an American flag.
(please note there is no meaning behind the drawing of the flag being backward. My 5 year old drew it today and she thinks it’s perfect)