Why do traumatic events cause us to freeze in time? Everyone that experienced 9/11 twenty years ago remembers where they were and what they were doing. It’s etched into our minds with indelible ink. During that time I was teaching at two different schools. I taught 7th and 8th grade drama in the mornings and then walked down to the elementary school to teach 3rd and 4th grade gifted students.
As our classes dismissed that morning the students started running back into the classroom telling us that the USA was under attack. At first we scoffed at their news. They were DRAMA students, you know. Twenty years ago we didn’t have access to all of the news platforms that we have now. Teachers were huddled around the one TV in the office. The remaining TVs were hurriedly checked out from the library. Teachers that had relatives in New York were frantically trying to call their loved ones to check on them. The administrators were creating a plan of action. Parents were streaming in to check out their children since the hearsay was our small town would soon be hit. The rumor was that universities were going to be next on the attack list.
What struck me the most during that time was the reactions of some of my 3rd graders. They were scared. They were filled with great uncertainty. They wanted to stay close to the teacher. Your university classes do not prepare you for a time like this. I quickly covered the tables in the class with bulletin board paper, pulled out the crayons and markers and asked them to write down or draw what they were feeling. The children seemed to experience relief in drawing their feelings. Some of the drawings were very uncomfortable. They were filled with angst and even horror. They believed the end of the world was upon us.
What lesson is to be learned in time of trouble? Matthew 10:28 states: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” As Christians, we have that assurance that God is control. Even if we meet physical death we look forward to life everlasting. Our future is in God’s hands. So, as we look back at those significant moments that leave us frozen in time, let’s remember that is but one small moment in God’s eternity. Learn from the past, but look to the future….it’s very bright!