I got ready for work this morning thinking that today would be a good day. It’s been so long since I’ve cried about 9/11 and although I think about Al often and probably always will, the memories that were once so tender, always coming hand in hand with painful tears, have loosened their grip. Over the years, the raw recollection of that day has slowly emerged into something new…much like a tiny shoot of brilliant green grass at the beginning of spring. Determination has grown to replace sadness: determination to be everything God wants me to be and, more importantly, to have Al’s courage in following the Lord wherever He leads.

Honest introspection is a now-frequent offshoot of 9/11. Whenever I recall the events of that day, I find myself lost in thought about my own life and about what I am doing that will impact this world.

Am I living courageously?

In many ways, Al’s death caused me to see what his life was about. This irony has forever changed who I am…it became the point where I began to listen to that still, small voice concerning missions and stopped pretending it wasn’t there. Stopped pretending it hadn’t been speaking to my heart all along. Whenever I travel to another country, I can’t help thinking about him and in some ways I feel that I carry a small part of his legacy with me and that he’s there, helping me minister to the beautiful people I meet.

If his sacrifice was so great, how much more so was the sacrifice of Jesus? What a privelege it should be to carry the name of Jesus and His legacy to the very people He created and loves so much! If only I felt the Lord’s sacrifice so tangibly every day.

As I silently sat in our morning meeting, I braced myself as small talk began and co-workers related the inevitable stories of “where I was when I the towers fell”. It’s been a long process, but as the years pass, it has become easier for me to hear these stories. Yet, as I listened this morning, without warning, my chest grew cold. Struggling to catch a deep breath, I fought to keep my hands from shaking and desperatly blinked away the sudden tears which came as a surprise. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that once-familiar, uncontrollable reaction but it now serves to remind me that by the grace of God, I’m still here and I have a purpose to fulfill. It’s been a tougher day than I had expected it to be, but I’d rather that than to ever forget what God showed me through my friendship with Al.


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