I could tell you where I was as a senior in high school.Or the feelings I had watching the second plane hit.I could tell you how removed we were because Washington is the farthest away from New York City but we longed and ached to help.Or how we spent days glued to the tv to hear what was going on. Images scrolling past as we lived in a deafening silence of civilization.
But none of that would matter.
Every year we see the same posts creep up online and we pause for a moment if we lived through it or don’t if we didn’t.But not me.Last year when 9/11 came I decided I wanted to not just remember, I wanted to live differently.
So I’ve spent the last year looking into eyes, actually making eye contact so I could pause for a conversation or offer a smile because that’s what I remember – we were a people United in seeing each other. A common understanding on streets and in stores.We knew.We felt.We cared about being gentle.
Maybe there’s not one person I uncomfortably smiled at or made a silly comment to this last year that cared.Or maybe there is.
I didn’t just try to see, I tried to see deeply as inspired by Michelle D. Craig.
“Jesus Christ sees people deeply. He sees individuals, their needs, and who they can become. Where others saw fishermen, sinners, or publicans, Jesus saw disciples…
Even in our busy lives, we can follow the example of Jesus and see individuals—their needs, their faith, their struggle, and who they can become.”
And do you know what I saw the most as I began to look? I saw three darling kiddos who were growing and changing faster than I could keep up with. And I saw that they needed me more than you needed my cookies or my casseroles. So I began looking into eyes more and do you know what I found?I found myself. In ways I never knew I was missing out I found wholeness. I found more of them, more of me, more of Him.
I remembered last year and every day since. And because I remembered I have been changed.