Where Were You? Controversial?

Once again, it’s Sunday evening, just before six o’clock, and I’m just starting this week’s post.  This week has been somewhat busy, mostly comprised of being sick and not feeling up to getting on the computer to do anything, and then saving my energy to help my mother-in-law move into her new apartment on Saturday.  Has anything major kept me from starting early and getting something really good going here?  No.  I even started working on a video…but only have a compilation of clips so far.  Lack of inspiration maybe?  Maybe just another week full of frustration from the events going on around me?  I don’t know.  I wish I knew…but I’m not going to go into all of that right now.  Right now, I have something bothering me.  The whole country does.  And right now, I’m going to address it, and some of you may not like it, but I’m doing it to come to grips with something and to try to understand it from a Christian point of view.

Throughout this entire week, media has bombarded us with everything to do about the ten year anniversary 9/11.  First, most importantly, I would like to say that I’ve prayed about this as much as I can, to the point of inner turmoil…prayed for the families who have been affected first hand by the loss and devastation from the events that took place on our soil on that day, prayed for the souls of those who lost their lives that day, prayed for people who put their lives on the line to help all those people in need that day, and for all those people who could do nothing but stand by in the most heart-breaking, fearful, and confusing moments, just watching, listening, and waiting to find out what in hell, because it surely seemed as though we were in it, was going on.  So before I bring it home, I’ll indulge, along with the media, and allow myself to post this song, which I almost refuse to listen to anymore (even though I love it), so that we can really, truly, take a look into that day, really think about it and get in touch with that feeling.  Think about it…don’t just think about where you were, don’t just think about what you were doing, or who you were with…you will always remember that…but what about that entire day?  What were you thinking and feeling when you saw what the media was showing it before they censored it?  Be honest!

So, now that you’ve seen those clips, over and over again…and again, and heard the song again, for however many times you’ve heard it, can you describe you how really feel, as if you’ve felt it for the first time?  Like it was that day?

We will never forget that day!  That day was so personal to every single one of us in this country, in this world.  I was at home, my parent’s house, my grandma was in the kitchen and I had just gotten out of the shower.  I was heading downstairs to my room to get ready for work when my grandma called me to the kitchen to show me that the first tower had just been hit by an aircraft.  How shocking.  Oh my gosh!  We stood there in the corner of the kitchen together, watching, waiting for information, this was terrible, all those people!  And all those people on the floors above where the plain hit, how are they going to get them out of there??  We were already watching, holding our breath…then out of the corner of the screen…HOLY SHIT!!!  ANOTHER PLANE!!!  IT HIT!!  IT HIT!!!   WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?  (Yes, I swore, it’s my blog, my feelings, and I said…I was bringing this home!)  My grandma and I started to panic, my heart felt like it stopped, this wasn’t an accident, this was something much bigger, much scarier, something beyond our comprehension…and it was unfolding right before our eyes…and all we could do was watch.

My mom was in Dallas at the time, my dad was at work, and I was worried about leaving my grandma at home while I went to work, but I had to go, it’s my job after all, but I didn’t know what was going on, and there was still very little information coming in between the time that the second plane hit and when I had to leave.  I called my mom to check in with her and then left for work, listening to the radio station the entire way forty-five minute drive.  Oh my God!  A plane hit the pentagon!  What, Dear God, is going on?  America is under attack, my grandma is at home, my dad is at work, my mom is in Dallas, and we lived in Detroit…it seemed as though they were hitting major hubs that would bring down our country.  It was logical to me to think that Detroit could be one of them…bring down the Motor City and see what happens.  Well, it’s already been proven in the last few years…take away Ford, Chrysler, and GM and the economic downfall of the country began.  But I was worried…we could have been a target…but I didn’t know what to think.  Who knew what to think.  It was still early in the day and it was already overwhelmed with chaos, panic, fear, and confusion.

I got to work and a little while later found out that another plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania.  It was coming closer.  Our supervisors gave us an option to leave and go home if we chose, there would be nothing held against us if did go, but I stayed.  I spent my entire shift looking out the window at my cubicle, watching the skies, imagining the worse case scenario…what if?  Not that my place of business should be any kind of target, but why was any of this happening at all?  I couldn’t wait to get home…

When I got home, every channel was lit up with footage of what had occurred from the time the first plane hit the first tower until what was going at that night.  The media covered everything, they censored nothing!  And I watched.  We all watched.  After going through the entire day, having seen the start, heard bits of information, wondering, worrying, being scared, being confused, now…I felt obligated to know what the hell happened, why, and what it looked like.  Now…part of me wishes it was a part of history that I could only read in history books and not have the turmoil of having gone through the experience of.

Why?  Because the media is the devil.  The media shows no mercy.  They showed us EVERYTHING!  We saw almost all of it, play by play, at least the twin towers portion of it…and it’s all burned into my mind and heart in a way that makes it that I can no longer watch anything 9/11 anymore.

I sat on the edge of my bed, watching the television, they were showing the towers burning, going up in smoke, people hanging out windows for air…and then…they showed people jumping.  From heights unimaginable…people jumped.  Because there was no better option of suffering for them…they jumped.  Burn or jump?  Suffer or end it on my own?  Can you imagine being that person?  No…you cannot!  Can you ever place yourself in that person’s head, knowing that he or she has a family at home, more than likely watching on t.v, and all you did was go to work that day, and suddenly you find yourself in a position where you know it’s over, but everywhere around you is…well, I don’t even know what adjective to place here because I wasn’t there…but tell me, what does it take for someone to hurl themselves out of an 80 story window to their death and fall like a ragdoll just to avoid burning to death?  And the media showed it.  All night long!

The next day, they stopped showing such sensitive material, but the rest of it remained.  Then the sound bytes started coming in from middle east, the celebratory cheers of a “job well done.”  It was twisting the knife in the hearts of us all even further and harder.

It all kept going…and going…and it never stopped.  It hasn’t stopped.  The first year after it happened, it was all the country could talk about, of course, and it was to be expected.  We just got dealt a major blow, and we were hurt, and pissed, but united….although unitedly pissed, and that’s not good.  The second year came around, and of course, there is a day of remembrance, which is to be expected.  We all had our united moment of silence and prayed, we talked about it with friend and family and went back to that day when….

But as the years have passed…we haven’t forgotten.  We don’t want to, but we also haven’t been allowed to heal.  We’ve been bombarded, every year, with documentaries, special occasions, news events, clips, videos, sound bytes, everything you can imagine that brings back that day, those memories, those moments of chaos, panic, confusion, and fear.  And that’s where I have the problem.

How can anyone be expected to heal in the midst of obsession?  Remembering is one thing, but bringing it back so hard, so raw, every year, is uncalled for.  It’s not fair to the families, to those who live with the trauma of that day, to all of us, as we all have a personal devastation attached to that day.  There is no need to keep reliving, yet, just letting us remember it, peacefully, without all they media hype and the images that take us back to that place in our minds and hearts that we don’t want to be is doing an incredible injustice to the people of this world.  I mourn for the loss of those lives, I pray for families and friends who lost someone in the events of 9/11, I salute all those, government and civilian alike, who put their lives at risk during the events, I cannot express enough the gratitude and sense of unity and Faith I feel from those people who took charge of the hijackers and took the plane down in the field in Pennsylvania, and I pray for everyone that one day, we can come through this without having to relive it at such an expense.

That day changed everything for this country.  So many things, as we knew it, changed that day.  It wasn’t just the loss of lives, it was the loss of life as we knew it.  We grew an anger toward people that was not predominately there, but every year since, because we keep reliving it, and are reminded of the fear, we continue to harbor and show this anger.  We grew a fear that, since then, every year we are reminded of, and no we are no longer able to just breath without being afraid that something is going to happen, especially around 9/11…why not?  We’ve allowed them to let us be afraid of them, so why not continue to threaten us when we are most vulnerable and emotionally fragile?  We grew a bitterness that, since then, we’ve not been able to sweeten, because every year we are reminded of what happened that day, so we are re-poisoned with those thoughts.  And some, unfortunately, grew even more insensitive to human reality, life and death.  By that I mean, while I know it’s the media’s responsibility to keep us informed, why is it okay that they make it into something more fit for an “R” rated movie?  Why is it okay to show that moment between life and death?  Better yet…why is it okay that we, as humans, find it acceptable to watch someone else’s mortality to the point that every network strives to have the best footage, or make the best documentary, or make the best “made for t.v” movie?

It’s been ten years to the day since terrorists hijacked U.S passenger planes and attacked The United States by way of suicide missions.  Two planes targeted the Twin Towers in New York City, causing total devastation of both towers, with the death toll numbering in the depressing thousands, including civilian and non-civilian lives.  Another mission targeted and destroyed a section of The Pentagon, mission being, “to play God with people’s lives” and, therefore, took almost three hundred of them.  A final plane, the infamous Flight 93, was believed to be heading toward Washington D.C., however, having not counted on the will of people to live, love for other people, and Faith in God, the passengers overtook the hijackers, forcing their way into the cockpit to steer them off course, ultimately, sacrificing their lives and crashing the plane into a field in Pennsylvania before the remainder of their terrorist’s mission could be completed.  The United States States took quite a hit from nowhere that day, and declared to get the leader behind it.  In fact, just this year, the supposed leader behind the attacks was found and killed, non-intended but necessary, so we’re told.  A beautiful memorial has been built from Ground Zero, the place where it all started, where Twin Towers once stood.  We’ve had vigils every year across the nation, maybe in other places around the world.  We’ve had church services that pertains to 9/11 around or on 9/11 for the last ten years, like today, and, to be perfectly honest, I almost left.  Although I’m glad I didn’t.  And I’ll tell you why.

This tragedy is fresh, it’s raw, it still cuts like a knife and the more we keep picking at it the worse it will get.  We, as the families, as the survivors, as the individuals, as the the by-standers, will never heal from the hurt…and most certainly will never heal from the fear, anger, and bitterness that, as a child of God, will cost us more in the end if we choose to refuse the best way of dealing with this tragedy in all of our lives.

 1 Cor 14: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Make every effort to live in peace and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.  It means you just love, just do it already.  Jesus died for us and our sins because He loves us, despite our sins, which we’re still accountable for, don’t get me wrong.  He doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender, nationality, political affiliation, brand of clothing, or anything.  He’s our father, and He will be giving us a talking to about what we did here on earth, because He loves us, and wants what’s best for us, and allows us our choices based on what He’s taught us.  He taught us a lot of things, there’s this huge book He left for us in case we get forget, The Bible, but the three most important things He taught us is Faith, Hope, and Love…but the greatest, is Love.

Matthew 5:46  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Meaning, if you don’t branch out and extend your Christian embrace of love around those who aren’t even like you, whom you may have prejudgments about, whatever the case may be, is that doing anything special or anything Christ-like?  No.  Tax Collectors, or in this case, terrorists, are doing the same thing.  Those men did not “just love” and, therefore, did what they did.

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  Ah, bitterness.  I mentioned before that we had grown bitter as a nation, toward groups of people threatening our nation, and groups of people who look like them, and bitter toward the fact that our very comforts of life have, thusly, been sacrificed so that our seventy year old grandma practically has to have a magnetic wand shoved up her butt to get on a plane.  But bitterness is like a venom, once you get bitten with it, it runs through your blood and messes with the very core of who you are…if you don’t catch it on time.  And if you don’t catch it on time, you’ll start passing it along to others, your children are extremely susceptible.  And bitterness acts as a fuel as well, because the more our mouths speak foully of others, and the more we behave foully toward others, the more the “others” will do so in return.  You see where I’m going here?  It’s a vicious cycle…the extreme version of it is called vengeance, the first act of war.  True, it’s harder to love people that you don’t know or don’t get along with, but sometimes, if you just have hope in people, you’ll find that they’ll find hope in you, and also in themselves.  Baby steps here, but just think of the bigger picture of hope.

So we talked about Love, we just hit on Hope…now onto Faith.  Faith, well, in short?  Right now, in my opinion, my definition of Faith is…Prove It.  If you believe in Jesus and you have faith that you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you, and if you truly want to do all those things you want to do in this world…then Prove It…even if you have to start with baby steps.

James 2:17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

In other words, faith without works…is dead.  Yes, folks…the very foundation verse upon which my entire blog is built on.  Cool, huh?  Well, I thought so…Hey!  Maybe today will be the day I’m discovered!  Perhaps by Richard Gere, who was just on a 9/11 tribute concert on V-H1, making a speech that got booed because he was trying to convince the crowd that “Love” is the way.  Now everyone is going to think my post is based on that…and once again, steal my mojo…just like they did in high school with Bohemian Rhapsody.  (story for a different time)

So, it’s not going to be easy, brothers and sisters.  A loss is never easy, especially one that is so devastating in circumstances, sudden, and historic.  It’s not easy to deal with in the limelight for those unfortunate ones who got placed there because of another human being’s lack of three basic principle’s, the greatest which, is Love.  But history, personal and historic, has shown us that the sooner we let things settle and just fall back into place the best they can given new conditions, the more we communicate with each other to reach a better understanding with each other, both inside and outside our circles, the more we stand united WITH each other instead of AGAINST each other, and the higher you stand when it’s time to dust off and move on toward what everyone in this world is truly fighting for, at least I hope it is, and that’s love, and the peace that comforts me within it. 

If you’re having trouble getting on your feet, just remember, if you’re on you’re already on your knees…you’re halfway there.  Just keep praying, my brothers and sisters, God’s hand will reach down to you too…

~Dear Lord, I pray that you look over each and every one of your children as we go through these times of great struggle in this world.  We all are sinners in your eyes, and none of us are perfect, but you, Lord Jesus, as our savior, promised us a place in Heaven with you and I want nothing more than to be there with you and those I love and have lost, and therefore, will do all in my power to do your works and follow your guidance so that I may see myself deserving of that place.  Please guide my wife, daughter, family and friends, brothers and sisters to continue to follow, or to find, their light, so that they may have their place as well.  Lord, please watch over all of us in our health and happiness, trials and travels this week, and please find a way to help Toby somehow so that nobody has to hurt too much just yet…I just think that now is not the time, but, Father, you know best.  In your most precious name I pray.  Amen~