I was sitting in Mr. Jeske’s Bible class, second hour, freshman year of high school. My classmate Stephen came in and said that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center and that some thought it was a terrorist attack. I didn’t know at the time what the World Trade Center was or really even what a terrorist attack meant. Over the next several hours, we watched together as things unfolded. We stopped lesson plans and we prayed together. We felt scared and unified and, frankly, many of us fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds tried to conjure up the feelings we were supposed to be having, because many of us just simply didn’t understand.
Sometime later, it was closing night of our annual high school musical. We stayed late after the show to strike the stage and then eat pizza, and while we all sat in the darkened cafeteria well after midnight, we watched on the big TV while President Bush made an official declaration of war.
I am not very involved or very knowledgable when it comes to politics, but these two days are connected in my memory, and this morning I woke up thinking about them. I thought about all of the people who were waking up today to an anniversary that is much graver for them than it is for me. I thought about the recent rumblings surrounding Syria and North Korea, and I thought about the people who stand on the corner downtown every Sunday morning and quietly protest war with hand-painted banners and umbrellas to keep out the sun.
These are the moments I deeply wish for an end to brokenness. In all of its forms.
Grant us peace, Jesus
Grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight