I know just about everyone has heard someone recount their memories of when they experienced a life changing moment or when something devestating happened. Many times people can remember the precise time and where they were when those moments occurred. I will always remember being on the brink of my career as a teacher, standing before a classroom full of eager, ready-to-learn 5th graders, especially Mariah sitting directly in front of me with her book open to the right page! What a good girl! :-)
Little did I know that Sept. 11, 2001 would require me to teach much more than what was contained in that Science book. My Science lesson was interrupted by a fellow teacher who "felt I should see this." I had no idea what I was about to see. And as I watched the sight of the Twin Towers burning on a small TV with poor reception, my "innocence to the evils of this world" would not allow me to process this as being something real. It was like I was watching a movie with thousands of dollars being spent on the special effects being played out before my eyes. But the reality was that thousands of lives were being lost as a result of what was happening that day. I tried my best to walk back into that classroom and resume teaching my lesson, but inquiring minds wanted to know why I had tears in my eyes, so I let them see the emotion that was overwhelming me as I thought about someone's mom, dad, brother, or sister was dying because some people decided to do something very bad. I wasn't sure what to tell them. So, I seized the opportunity to share with my public school children that we needed to pray for our country and for the people who did this and for the people who were caught in the middle of this. And we prayed.
I don't know where each of those students I taught that year is today. Hopefully, they are sitting in their classes listening to their teachers as they were 7 years ago in my class. (Probably thinking about how much fun their Senior year of high school will be instead of the lesson being taught!) I will pray that I will always remember, and that they will know, that God is in control even when bad things happen to us. I hope we will remember to pray for the leaders of this country, whomever they may be, and for the future of this country, and for the people who choose evil. My hope is that on this day we won't only remember our whereabouts, what we were wearing, or what time it was, but that we will remember to look to God everyday and in everything-good or bad.