13 years ago on September 10 I had never known fear. I knew summers riding horses on Long Island. I knew weekend train rides to New York City to saunter down 5th Avenue in the pre-Christmas snow flurries. I knew exchange adventures in Europe. I knew packing up my parents Infiniti to head off to Bucknell University. I knew interviewing to get my first job with Travelers. I knew moving into my own apartment in White Marsh, Maryland.
I knew the suburbs. I knew security. I knew privilege.
I did not know fear.
September 10, 2001 was the last day of my youth. It was the last day of my innocence.
Today, 13 years later, I mourn the loss of that innocence. The world then it was sweet. It was untouched. It was insulated. It may have been just a facade but to me, it was real and it was sweet.
Now, we know. We know that there are many people in the world who hate us. Who want to hurt us. We know, without a doubt, that evil exists. We experienced something so cataclysmic that the foundation of understanding was shaken. That morning we came to understand hate. We unite in our fear, and we united to respond to the hate... but as the Towers came down, so did the scales from our eyes.
It is with a horrifying sense of foreboding that I sit here and write to you today. So many feelings from 2001 are swirling in my heart. It may simply be that I know that we are not immune. Having lived thru 2001, there is no amount of preparedness that can quell the panic in your heart when you see something - like planes flying into buildings - that you have never even conceived of - something so truly terrifying that it defies understanding. That fear is so pervasive, so real, so terrifying that it is crippling.
But we can't. We can't live. We can't live with. We can't live with that. We can't live with that fear.
There is only one response to that fear. Only one response that can conquer it, in our hearts, and in our lives. That is hope. Hope for us thru God's saving grace. That is all we have when the lights go out and the evil threatens to consume our souls. God's sweet grace is our light and He tells us: Do not Fear. Over and over He tells us.
So it is September 10th again. I may be sitting here with scales having fallen from my eyes. But I have hope. Hope in God's grace no matter what tomorrow brings. Pray tonight for country. Pray for our leaders. Pray for the souls of those who taken up arms against us so that they may see the error of their ways. Pray to give them hope of something greater than the evil that lives in them. Pray for God's will to be done. Pray for justice and pray for peace. Pray that if we are faced with hard decisions that we go forth with strong Christian discernment and purpose. Pray for healing. Pray for God's love to sweep across the Earth like the great flood and anoint us all.