Today was one of those days. Around 1:00 this afternoon my husband and I got into an argument that lasted the rest of the day.
What started as a disagreement quickly turned into an afternoon and evening of cold shoulders and awkward avoidance of each other.
When bedtime came, I crumbled. I didn’t want to go to bed angry; I wanted peace. Yet, at the same time, I wasn’t ready to lay down my pride. Needless to say, with both of us being tired, weary and emotionally drained, this wasn’t a good combination.
Hurt, frustrated and getting nowhere, I left my husband alone so that he could go to sleep and considered going to bed in another room.
I knew I needed to spend time with God, to pray through the situation between me and my husband, but somehow my prayers fell flat. I didn’t know what to say, or rather, I didn’t know how to be honest with myself or with God.
I didn’t want to admit the fact, that maybe I was wrong, that maybe my pride was keeping me from making a sincere and honest apology. No, I wanted to focus on Chris, and all the things he did to hurt me, the things he said, the ways he misunderstood.
For several minutes I continued to pray, but nothing seemed to help. Whatever truth God was trying to show me was obviously not getting through my wall of blame and pride.
In the end, something must have softened my heart because I decided to sleep in our room. As I slipped into my side of the bed and reached for my phone something caught my eye.
There on my phone in bright-white numbers, a sobering reminder.
In that moment my heart changed. My hurt, my frustration, my anger faded swiftly away in comparison to my memories of that fateful day.
For a moment I let my mind wander to that day, twelve years ago. In my mind’s eye I tried to imagine all the husbands and wives who went to work on that Tuesday morning, never to return home. I pictured the goodbye kisses, the smiles and waves exchanged as coffee, and jackets, and briefcases were grabbed on the way out the door.
And I know there must have been some who left in anger. Who left with hurt, and arguments, and issues that weren’t resolved. With issues that would never be resolved.
I imagined what it would be like to spend the last precious moments with the one you love in anger. I imagined what it would be like to have the one you love snatched away, gone forever.
And I thought to myself, what if? What if the day that lies before me, carries my own 9/11? What if this is the day in which, the one I love, the one I share my life with, will never come home.
Because the truth is, the people that lost their lives on 9/11, and the people who lost their loved ones, had no idea what was coming…and neither do we.
As the sun dawns each morning, we have no promise of what the day will bring forth, whether it will end in triumph or tragedy.
As my wall of pride crumbled, I finally heard God’s voice break through, there to me in the darkness. In my darkness. And what He said was, “Love.”
And I knew it sure, that in this world of terrorist attacks and cancer, of drunk drivers and road rage, of accidents and suicide, I do not have time to fight, but only time to love.
To look long into the eyes of my beloved and know that he is mine I am his.
To spend my life honoring our vows, treating him as the king of my heart and my home.
To swallow my pride, and tear down my walls, and humble myself to ground zero, to the washing of feet if necessary.
To say, “I’m sorry,” and mean it, not just because I seek peace, but because I know that true peace will never come without true repentance.
To say, “I love you,” once, twice, a thousand times a day, in a thousand different ways so that when, and if, 9/11 comes he will know and I will know that we lived and loved well and that we did not take for granted the time that we were given.
Sweet friends, may this sacred day live on in our hearts, in our homes, in our lives, as a reminder of those who were lost, as a reminder of those who were heroes, as a reminder that this day, this moment, this right-now, is the time to cherish what we have…and who we have. That this is the time to love.