I remember exactly where I was when I heard. I remember exactly how I felt when I did. And I remember exactly what I did for the 24 hours afterwards.
I was paralyzed. I was glued to the tv for the rest of the day and deep, deep into the night. Not out of gross-interest, not as a glutton for news, but out of sheer shock and disbelief and longing to hear or see something or someone make sense out of all of it. No sense ever came. No sense has come still.
A picture from that day came across my news/social media feed today that I’m sure I’ve seen, but this one caught my attention as no other has.
It’s the picture of man, in the midst of this horrible destruction, standing in the middle of an ash – and debris-covered street. He has picked up a piece of paper that has floated to the ground from the towers. He is standing there…reading this piece of paper. As if the shock of the moment has tricked his brain into thinking it’s just another day.
That’s what we do, isn’t it? In the midst of tragedy or heartache or despair. We paralyze for a bit. Right in the big nasty hard middle of it. Not out of complacency or deliberate ignoring of the situation…just out of sheer “What the crap is going on??”
We want to go back to bed and hope when we wake up that this would have all just been a horrible dream. That everything will be back to normal (whatever that is.) But…we know that won’t work. It never has before.
I admire people that, in the midst of something really, really bad, they put their work boots on and get going. It takes me a while (if I even get there at all.) I would dare say that most of us go through those moments where we paralyze…we freeze…we stare at a tv or a medical test result or a letter or a text.
When that happens, we have choices:
We can PANIC or we can PRAY.
We can RUN or we can REST
We can ATROPHY or we can ACT.
We can WASTE AWAY or we can WALK STRONG.
We can FEAR or we can FACE it head on.
Easy choices? Oh, NO! Not easy at all. Whatever it is you find yourself dealing with, do all you can to make the right choice. The life-giving choice. The choice that honors God and shows His power to raise beauty out of ashes. (He LOVES to do that, you know!)
Yesterday, there was another picture that emerged. You’ve probably seen it. A rainbow that seemingly originates at the site of the two towers. I heard a news person this morning say, “Isn’t it amazing how Mother Nature sometimes gives us a sign?” Mother Nature? Ummm, no. God himself! (As a side, I wonder sometimes if it makes God sad that we give all his credit to someone or something else? “What kind of world do we live in where Mother Nature gets all my press?” – name that movie lol)
It’s ok to freeze up for a little bit, but don’t camp there. Trust in the one who has every one of your days safely in His hands and choose life! Choose joy! Choose action! Choose walking on and facing what’s ahead with faith and courage and determination. He’s walking with you. Every step of the way.