Today was a sad day in many ways. I watched some of the coverage of the 7th anniversary of 9/11 this morning, and my daughter is old enough now that she asked me a lot of questions. Not hard questions, just looking for information, but.... I found myself unable to finish some of my sentences as I choked up, remembering how it felt that day. I live in a central location to where the four planes crashed, but was not in any danger. I did not personally know anyone who died that day. I was not affected in any way except the most common one, which is that I was an American who fell to my knees in complete horror when I turned on the tv that day. I prayed fervently, rubbing my pregnant belly where I carried the Boy, and feeling afraid in my own home for the first time in my life. Without my faith in God, I do not know how I would have coped with all the swirling emotions of that day. I wonder what it is like for those who feel they have no one to cry out to when life does not make sense.
Today was a reminder of the evanescent quality of life in other ways as well. A suicidal woman around the corner from us barricaded herself in her home, and then shot at police who were forced to return fire and kill her. I live in the suburbs where these things are very rare, and very shocking.
When my husband left for his evening shift at work, he had to take a longer route to avoid a huge accident that had shut down a highway. Several people were killed. He called only a few hours later to say he was on his way home. A car had crashed into one of their sweeper trucks at 70mph and four adults in the car were killed. A newborn baby in the back seat survived, along with the driver of the truck who was taken to the hospital. My husband spoke to one of the passengers in the back, who was still alive at that point. The man was groaning in his pain. My husband cleared broken glass from the baby girl's face as she screamed. When I watched the news coverage an hour ago, I could see him standing near the wreckage of the car, it's roof sliced off and the entire car crushed. He said it was one of the worst accidents he has ever seen, and he saw many when he was a volunteer firefighter for a dozen years.
These tragic things happened on the anniversary of tragedy. I think about the families of those who died today, and wonder what it will be like for them on 9/11 in years to come. I wonder if any of them knew Jesus, and I shudder to think of those who did not. I just ache for them. I have no wise or thoughtful words for times like this, and can only rely on God, and ask Him to show us the way through the valley of the shadow.