Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3
On 9-10-2001, I was in New York City. I had been there for the weekend with my colleague Jenn with whom I co-partnered a fundraising business at the time. My plan was to stay an extra day, that Monday the 10th and leave on the 11th. But I made the decision to keep my original plans. Why? Were there angels tugging at the lapels of my jacket urging me to go home? I remember so vividly taking a photograph of the New York skyline that beautiful Sunday evening less than 48 hours from impact. Was it protection, or a boost of wisdom, or just a feeling as to why I left and didn’t stay? I look back now and can only tell you I do not have a fancy answer for this except to speculate that when the hand of God is upon you, does His protective grace guide in the absence of any knowing? Our hotel was near the attack site; we had meetings with vendors from whom we never heard again.
I wept like we all wept. I said hello to passer-bys in a world that suddenly felt very different. What had been important wasn’t as much. I grew anxious. People bought guns. I held my mother’s hand. I grieved the priceless loss of our people. That day, we were all brothers; and sisters. I marveled at the human bravery, the willingness to save, the desire to defeat inconceivable evil upon our soil with a simple act of helping another. I watched the ghost of fleeing souls covered in ash like buzzing evil perched to sting.
It was a time when we met war; no one was spared the ravage of deliberate hate. It was not distant. Like a seeking child, we found ourselves sliding our timid fingers in the fold of God’s wing because suddenly we didn’t know the way. And we fought, and we dug out, with a glance of hope, a sword of compassion, the stand of indignation, the ferocity of prayer, a mountain of lifting, a roar of fortitude. As one nation, we pushed back against fear that would try to conquer and paralyze, and said, “no more.”
And we saved each other, through acts of courage and the faith of survival—as one nation, under God, indivisible—as one. And we began to laugh again and came out from our holes and bent time back to the important things . . .
What is your story of 9-11? Where were you? What do you remember? Please tell your story in the comments below. We want to hear from you.
Love to all and God bless America.
Vice President of Spirituality