I went to church twice today if you count the normal service in an abnormal place, then another one I watched online from a friend's church. Both very good services, though the one I attended in person was held outdoors in a pavilion on this rainy morning as a planned, one-time change of pace.
I sing with the praise team at church. It feels like church karaoke except there's no colored line or bouncing ball traversing the screen in rhythm with the music. Is that sacrilegious to compare it to karaoke? No matter the scene, singing is my favorite form of expression.
Whether it's love for someone else, love for Jesus, frustration, anger, grief, sorrow, joy, gladness, gaiety, or just remembering bygone times, song is the perfect transmitter for those thoughts and feelings.
The entire day has been appropriately shadowed with the sobering remembrance of the attacks on our country 21 years ago today on September 11th--a perfectly clear, sunny, 70F degree day.
I remember being stunned into ineffectiveness of any sort at work that day. We all were. We were glued to any news update.
Seeing the panic of fleeing citizens, the resolute courage of first responders, and knowing that there was nothing I could do here in Indiana except pray like somebody else's life depended on it, left my first real mark of grief in my life beyond losing a direct family member.
So many others that day did lose a family member--or more than one. So many went to work as usual and never came home. Others boarded planes and never disembarked.
It is in moments such as this, and upon each anniversary, that we are reminded again of just what a precious gift life really is. We remember with sadness and care the grief-stricken families who have a blank space in their family photos now because of that awful day.
Then after prayers for so many affected families, all I can do is thank God for each new, precious day and the family and friends that fill my life.
And thank you to our military and first responders who make service and self-sacrifice a daily practice.