Yesterday, a solemn day.
We remember, those of us old enough to experience it and those of us young enough to sense the enormity of it from our family’s and friends emotional, brow-knitted retellings.
It was a day you wondered where God was. I had wondered many times that day and the days after, had he let our collective foot slip?
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121: 3-4
I recounted these words yesterday and remembered this feeling of fifteen years ago. That perhaps this loving God had fallen asleep; that somehow He was caught unaware, in the throat, like all of us were on that day.
I remember, most days at least, that He’s with us all along.
But we were all questioning it on September 11th.
Today, I think about the day after all this. The day also, in my opinion, of the brave.
Of those that had to face the first morning alone in twenty years. Of those who had to face the children without their father. Of those who had to make sense of their husbands and wives rushing into calamity and chaos instead of running away. I think of the children that never had a chance to know one or both of their parents because of this. Or the older business owner whose whole life, business, was smashed and covered in smoke and soot the day before.
I pray there was a reason, a something for this pain. Because I can’t grasp a pain this deep and this big without any purpose. A pain and suffering of this level without any purpose would shake my faith to the deepest core.
Today feels as solemn (or maybe it’s just me) as the 11th. The day after feels just as painful; the day we all had to make sense of what had happened and work to move on. To figure out how to live again. To figure out just how to get up out of bed again.
How to muddle through the ordinary the day after. How we were and are brave in the ordinary days after.
Those parents that rose to take care of children, spouse-less, the day after. The firefighters and first responders that woke up and put on their gear for another day of searching, the day after. The parents of missing children that tried calling and calling and praying and praying again the day after. The kindergarten teacher that returned to work the day after. The postman that still delivered mail the day after. The airport and airline staff and security that still returned, the day after.
All of us, the brave and the ordinary, that showed up, even though bloodshot eyed, heartbroken and confused, the day after.