I've been watching some of the many 9/11 documentaries on TV. They all pull at the heart strings--stories of courage, stories of loved ones lost, so many stories of so many lives. We will never know all of the personal effects of 9/11 on people. I feel a need to remember the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.
Our town sold luminaries that we have purchased to put out at the end of our driveway the evening of the 11th. We will do that. During the day, if the weather is good, our American flag will be waving, as it usually is. I am hoping to be at a church service that honors that day in memory. Other than that, I'm not sure what I can do. We have been to the Sherwood Island State Park in Connecticut to see our memorial to the 149 Connecticut people who died. I know it will be crowded, if it is able to be opened after the effects of hurricane Irene. I would reserve that right to those who lost loved ones on that day.
As I was watching an interview with former Governor Rowland a couple of days ago, he said some words that stuck with me. I don't have the direct quote, but he said on that day we were vividly reminded that every day we walk out the door may be the last time that we see our family or friends. He said it served as a reminder as to what is important in life, "Faith, family and friends". That sums it all up.
Life is busy and I know we won't be able to be with our family and friends on that day. The important thing is that we know we love and care for each other. Feeling that I had to do something, I am focusing this month (as I may not finish by Sunday) on writing to my family and friends who are not on facebook or email. Facebook and email friends are certainly not any less, but I am in contact with them more.
For the others I am going to hand write a personal letter. I am not going to say anything about 9/11 or even anything very deep. It will be just a handwritten note to say, "I am thinking of you." Life here on earth is all about the relationships. That is the word I would use if asked to describe life in one word, relationships. It is how we relate to those we love and those who are hard to love, those we chose to be with and those we chose not to include in our lives. It's memories of those who are gone and the relationships we had with them.
It is also our relationship with God. Evidence of Him is in the beauty of the rivers and mountains and the oceans around us. He is in the innocence of a new born baby or in the faithfulness of a dog. His Spirit is in the kind actions of others when we are in need. Our lives should be based on our faith. We each know how we believe. I also know that although I have the faith, I have failed in that relationship. It is one thing to believe that God exists; it is another to build a relationship. Prayer is easy--that is my letter to God and He gets those all the time...especially the ones I send up express mail, the urgent ones that I want taken care of immediately--in my time, not his. He also gets the routine ones, like paying bills, "lead me through this day, bless my family, etc." And he gets the thank you notes, "thank you for your blessings." He also gets apologies for my wrong doings.
The other part of that relationship is listening to His direction, especially in the Bible. I'll admit that in that part of the relationship I have failed in. I have let the busy-ness of life take over. Life is too busy and I can't change that. It is overwhelming to claim that I will read a book a week or even a chapter a day. Yes, I could read that much, but reading and digesting are two different things. I do realize that I have let life here push me around and dictate my direction. I have to go to work every day and other commitments, but there are other parts of life that are made up of conscious choices of time and efforts and money.
So, in my effort to focus on the relationships of life this month, I will read the Bible with no commitments as to how many chapters by a certain date. It will be quality not quantity.
The final aspect of that is to act upon my faith.That is why I chose to title this blog with a verb, "Relating". I feel writing the letters is one way. There are other ways to help people to reflect God's love and I hope to continue to be open to see when needs exist and to act upon that and to be an encouragement to others.
I hope the anniversary of 9/11 will somehow motivate you to do something too. Just as New Year's eve, we make resolutions to change our lives, I think 9/11 should be remembered by making resolutions to help others, a reminder that life is too short and focus needs to be on what is important--faith, family and friends--relationships.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16