Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 10 years ago

I've been told that with days like September 11, everyone will remember where they were when they heard, and much of the day. I think that is very true.

I was at work at a time when the work environment involved a happy, healthy yelling of information across cube walls. We worked and laughed together constantly - it was fantastic.

All of a sudden the morning of 9/11... I had just arrived to work...

2 rows down: "Oh my gosh - a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center."

Thought: See, that's why I don't like to fly - something went wrong with a plane so badly that it hit a big building.

Across from me: "It's not just one. It's 2 planes. And there's something about the Pentagon."

Thought: This is different.

Up we got, 2 of us. It was time to search for a TV! Surely our building had one. A guy and I looked everywhere. We found a TV, but it didn't get any reception. Now what?

And the day went on. I had one Internet site open, someone else had another, someone else had the radio going. And we exchanged information and "come look at this." This was done over cube walls - over the cube walls and across hallways, we communicated effectively. I called Dave and we shared our disbelief.

In the middle of the day, Steve came to report that his dad, who works in that area, is ok. That's the only person I vaguely knew there.

But we left work with images of people struggling to leave the city, on foot. It was unimagineable.

Fast forward to this past summer. A fire engulfed the area surrounding Rainbow Trails Lutheran Camp, somehow leaving the camp untouched. Now it's the green bubble in the middle of a burned area. It's amazing. Some say God stepped in to "save" the camp. But I don't think that's it. If God did that, then why didn't God save all those people who lost their lives 10 years ago?

I think there is good and evil in the world. God is with us, through it all. But God doesn't decide that Rainbow Trails should survive while the Trade Centers fall. God is with the people - the people at Rainbow Trail who were relocated for half the summer to a different camp and made it. God was with the people at the Trade Centers and others where there was a much different outcome, but so many perservered.

There were amazing firefighters and many others that were part of 9/11. They risked or lost lives. Some have longterm health problems. But thanks to so many people, 9/11 seemed to bring people together as a nation. During the fire this summer, there was a coming together for people involved with Rainbow Trails, trying to keep things going in the midst of chaos.

Now, as a nation, it often feels like we have forgotten the bonding we had after 9/11, when politicians stood united, when people really seemed to take a step back and care for each other.

As we remember on this 9/11, I wish we could remember how we came together. I wish we could come together over silly cube walls that have been made smaller and offset from each other which decreases the fantastic collaborative noise. I wish we could come together over political differences and that instead of creating division, found common ground. I wish we could remember what we all did then, and use it today. Regardless of what we choose to do, God is with us. But I think God wants the post-9/11 behavior, the (people involved with) Rainbow Trails behavior, the behavior that came with people all working together in the midst of chaos. I don't think we should need chaos to bring people together, but maybe we could use the lessons we learned there and start to apply them again. There is hope.

And though these words have a different context within the song "Someday," Rob Thomas' words hit me recently, as some kind of strange perspective of
this hope...

"Cause maybe someday
We'll figure all this out
We'll put an end to all our doubt
Try to find a way to just feel better now, and
Maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud
We'll be better off somehow


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