It’s a strange but common way we comfort one another on days of sacred memorial like today, we ask, “Where were you?” On September 11, 2001 unlike some mommas I knew who were actually in labor when the terrible news began to arrive, my first labor and delivery had recently passed. I was home and already beginning to figure out the ropes of what it meant to be a parent when we saw the chilling scenes come across our tv. It was a helpless feeling sitting at home taking it all in, we went for a walk that day, my newborn and I.
We went for a walk today too, twenty years later. I remember what my six children can’t but I tell them the story, and they remember that.
September 11, 2021, today, we went down to the river. It’s a tradition every year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that as we walk we either bring paper to write out things it’s time to let go of or we grab a leaf or a piece of driftwood or a big heavy rock, they are symbols of casting away that which we are turning away from. Coming to the river is a symbol of the lovingkindness of the One we are turning to. In the Jewish tradition it’s a whole ceremony (Tashlich) for us it’s a little one but meaningful in our world, and one of the best things we started to do when our kiddos were young. Today being the sabbath that falls within the “ten days of awe” it is called the sabbath of returning—shabbat shuva.
As we prepared we paused and stood in a circle and asked the question Elohim asked Adam and Chavah (Eve) and that I think is the best question ever;
“Where are you?”
We took turns speaking our hearts out loud, remembering how Yeshua said, “…if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24) Whew, this is heavy, it takes some time and some care. It’s a little helpless feeling, I was glad when we were able to go for our walk.
Some burned notes and let the ashes be carried away in the water, others screamed as they flung their rock, some found leaves that drifted light and seemed to sing a song. All were born new, as we remembered and we proclaimed, Messiah is risen, Messiah is in us, and Messiah will come again. How we need Him.
Where are you?
I’m a writer and photographer sharing my journey, currently writing through the ten days of awe:
first post: may you know you are held
second post: may you know flight
third post: may you be nurtured in your grief
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I will continue to speak to my responses to your heartsong dear Raynn. The first thought is Yesterday for the first time I chose to watch and listen to 9-11 folks directly affected. I was alone in bed watching tv ( height of my isolation 20 yrs ago ). So I mourned the grief of others and held sacred space for their stories. Even when Bush spoke Trained that I AM, stayed away from judgements. I go back to your offering and the Bible verse you share is breath taking away, so I get it and yet I can do the for giving within. Yet if it is of another order, heart to heart is an option. . I live with the teaching there is no blame. Lastly you say Jesus maybe The Christ is within, YES. When you say Messiah will come again who or what is that?
Dear Maria, goodness what a day that must have been for you. First I just want to say how grateful and proud of you I am for the healing that has happened over these 20 years for you, and now for allowing the grief & the gift of seeing others and holding them in their sorrow (which you have also done for me) without judgement. I know too there are great depths of work/releasing/flourishing that has happened inside of you to live the words *without blame*, this is a beautiful echo of Messiah Yeshua on the cross when he said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” I want to live that way too. I’m so grateful the beauty of the Scripture spoke to you too.
As for Messiah (I love to say “Moshiach” for Messiah, in Hebrew, and know you have enjoyed hearing some of the Hebrew too) the Torah speaks not of a Heaven far off but a kingdom to come that Messiah (whom the B’rit Chadashah, “New Testament) says is Yeshua (Jesus from Nazareth), Messiah will deliver us into a time when nations will,
“beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3).
“The earth shall be filled with knowledge of God as water covers the seabed” (Isaiah 11:9).
I believe these things with all my heart, and that we are not to throw off this life, body, or world as though they do not matter, rather that we are invited into this healing through His life and Spirit in us—adopted into His family—and together, it is upon each of us to work towards this healing of the world, then He will come doing what only He can fully do. I love that He will do it with us, through us, His glory and power revealed and known. There are many details in the Torah about what this will look like. I can only dream of what it ALL means exactly, and I hope and long for the day…not a rescue out of this life, a healed and whole day when HaShem is known. I hope this expresses to you the heart of what I mean, thank you for asking.
the moment that breathes eternity – STAY, in the Breath
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