i was wearing my favorite turquoise tank top from the gap. black pants and the cutest little sandals you ever did see. i pulled it all together with this colorful beaded necklace my sister had just given me for my birthday.
i grabbed my cup of coffee and bolted out of the apartment.
i worked as a graduate assistant in the university union at the reservations desk.
tuesdays were generally busy. i worked from 8 o'clock in the mornings until 5 o'clock in the afternoons and then had graduate classes starting in the evenings.
when i arrived in the university union, in the very middle of the campus that i held so dear, i realized crowds had gathered. people were huddled around televisions in the common spaces. i couldn't gather what was happening. i saw smoke. i saw a building. but i couldn't understand what they were saying.
i entered the office and the weight of the day hit me square in the heart.
one of our student employees was from new york. another from just outside our nation's capital. both had reported to work. both were desperately trying to reach their family members.
with people paralyzed in the places where they stood, i ran to my best friend and roommate. we shared an apartment, an office. we shared a lot actually. her soulmate was a marine. she knew. in her gut she knew his course would change direction and he would head right into the path of destruction.
i fielded phone calls all day long. we sent the student employees home. back to their dorm rooms to digest the events that had just unfolded. counseling sessions were scheduled. graduate classes were cancelled.
the university union information desk stayed open until midnight. on a day when we typically would have closed at 6 o'clock. we knew people would need a lifeline. a voice on the other end of the phone. a person to answer the hardest of questions. parents called looking for answers for children who were interning in a state that had just been attacked.
i talked to people all day long. we cried. we sat silent.
surprisingly, i can't remember if i spoke with my own family or not.
i do remember i slept on the couch that night. in my clothes. i remember walking out in a state of numbness for a long time. i was lost twelve years ago.
like many others, i cried out to God. but i don't suppose i heard what He had to say because i still wasn’t seeking Him with all my heart.
twelve years later, my heart still cries out to Him. this time, i hear Him.
today, as i reflect on that horrific day that shook our nation, there is a whisper in my soul. so loud it brings comfort to my heart and tears to my eyes. and i suppose it is the same thing He was whispering all those years ago when so many cried out to Him.
'if my people who are called by my name humble themselves,
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven and
will forgive their sin and heal their land.'
2 chronicles 7:14