Eugene Cho

remembering september 11 [9/11]

I am reposting this again this year and will likely do so every year – on September 11 as we remember, mourn, learn, and strive towards peace…

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Today marks the seven eight year anniversary of the devasting events known to Americans and the global world simply as “9/11.”  I could share so much but I don’t quite know how to articulate it.

So perhaps, it would be best as we remember September 11 to simply ask some questions and let you share your thoughts.  This is an invitation to all of you – subscribers, regulars, visitors, lurkers, civilians, soldiers, Christians, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, and [whatever] to share your thoughts and help create a dialogue.

Certain events of history – personnal or global – make a mark on your consciousness.

When the 9/11 attacks took place,

Where were you exactly?
What were your initial feelings and emotions?
Did you do anything in response?

September 11, 2001

*  Still one of my the most compelling reads is this piece by Time Magazine to mark the 1 year anniversary of the attacks.

*  Picture by Marty Lederhandler, AP

Filed under: politics, religion, ,

38 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    I was actually in New York City when the attacks took place. I was about a mile away. All I heard was the most thunderous noise and thought there was some sort of horrible accident or earthquake. I was in a cafe and everyone ran out to see what was going on.

  2. […] Remembering 9/11 Posted on September 11, 2008 by theolounge “Today marks the seven year anniversary of the devasting events known to Americans and the global world simply as “9/11.”  I could share so much but I don’t quite know how to articulate it.” > more. […]

  3. Davo says:

    My family lived in Prague, Czech Republic at the time. It was mid afternoon, and I was in History, second to last period of the day, when the air raid siren went off. My classmates and I looked around at each other, confused, then shrugged and went back to studying. After school let out, I went downtown to just walk around and enjoy the city.

    I ran into a friend of mine on the main square. I went up to talk to her, and she held up a finger and asked me to wait, since she was on the phone. She finished her conversation and hung up. “Sorry,” she said. “That was my dad.”

    “Your dad’s in the States right now. Isn’t that a $2/min phone call?” I asked.

    She replied, “Yeah, didn’t you hear? New York is getting bombed or something.” Not believing her, I rushed into a sports bar nearby that was showing footage of the smoking towers. I sensed that now was not the time to be wandering aimlessly downtown and rushed home immediately.

    One of the Czech news stations carried some coverage, but it wasn’t round-the-clock like most Americans enjoyed. My family and I found ourselves on CNN.com hitting the refresh button every 5 minutes.

    The next few weeks were interesting as the expats began cautiously emerging from their homes to rejoin society. The International School had guards with gigantic automatic weapons patrolling the campus. People were about as sympathetic and hospitable towards Americans as Czechs know how to be. Then we invaded Afghanistan, and the “we hate America, you bully” attitude returned with vigor.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I was a pastor on staff at my church at the time…most of my memories surround what we did with the families to help people pray, and help children process what had happened.

    That seems like a whole world ago.

  5. deneenwhite says:

    I was sitting in my public speaking class. One of the crazy kids in our class came in and announced that he was late (as he usually was) because a plane hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. We rolled our eyes and continued on with class. Then we heard the news from a more reliable source.

    The gravity of the situation didn’t hit me until I arrived at home to see the second building collapse. And to see the footage of the plane crashing into the pentagon. And to hear about Flight 93 crashing in the middle of PA.

    My church had a prayer meeting that night and the following night. I remember my secondary reaction, after praying for the people who were unaccounted for, the families of those known to be dead and those who were missing, was to pray for Osama bin Laden and the families of the people who flew the planes

    Even though I live in the middle of NY and DC, life resumed its normalcy way too quickly.

  6. As for “What do we do?,” one very important thing is to keep everything in perspective, of which I wrote yesterday.

    Grace and Peace,
    Raffi

  7. Tyler says:

    I was in the car with my dad and sister driving to school and we turned on the radio. All of us didn’t really understand its magnitude over the radio but then I saw the images at school when I arrived.

  8. Emily says:

    I was in my college dorm, a friend came out in the hallway and announced what had happened and told us to turn-on the news. My parents were on a flight home from Amsterdam at the time and I knew they would be flying over the NYC area that morning, so I was pretty worried that their plane could be next. (they actually ended-up finding someone involved in the plot on the plane, but they caught him when they diverted to Canada) Most of my classes were cancelled that morning, and I just remember trying to find my brother b/c we were so upset about not knowing what was happening with my parents. My friends and I all felt very out-of-control and shocked that something so horrible could happen on American soil.

  9. Karen de Castro says:

    I live in the Philippines, so at the time I was in class. I was a sophomore in high school then, and my home ec teacher entered the room and let us know that two planes crashed into the Twin Towers. I remember this so well because despite the fact that we’re not even there, a lot of my classmates were afraid of what would happen next and they actually cried openly in class. At that time I wasn’t really sure of how to react, especially since I’m the type who wants to get the facts straight as much as possible before releasing any type of emotion, so I actually made my teacher stop talking about it.

    Now that I think about it, I think I was afraid too. This type of event isn’t something that affects just one nation after all – I think the world was shaken that day.

  10. Phil says:

    I was visiting friends in Vancouver, Canada the day of the attack. I remember waking up to my good friend Joanna crying. I clearly remember praying in bed that God would be with her as I thought she had heard some bad news from her family or that someone had died.

    I got out of bed after about 15 minutes only to see the news on the attacks. I woke up Amy, my wife and our friends who were staying in the house with us and we watched in disbelief. We lived in Seattle at the time and were applying for our green cards so we quickly got into the car and headed south, not sure of what the border would look like. Thankfully we arrived back in Seattle safely and joined out friends there as we all were still in shock of what happened.

  11. Blake says:

    It was two days before I left home to begin my undergrad studies. I remember my mom waking me up in a panic that morning saying, “Blake, wake up! An airplane hit the world trade center!” As I got up and walked out to the living room, I was struck by the images I was seeing on TV, minutes before the second plane hit… by then I think we all knew it was intentional. Watching the buildings collapse was unreal, and I never would have thought that would have such a dramatic impact on the rest of my life, never would I have thought that my world would have changed so much.

    About McCain’s statement… I think”radical VIOLENT extremists” of any sort are a problem. Christian just as much as Islamic. The difference is we’re a “Christian” nation so somehow its okay. Wonder what Jesus would say…

  12. Mike says:

    I was an officer in the Air Force at the time – stationed in Texas. I remember everyone being glued to their TV’s in a state of awe/confusion. It was a surreal day to be sure.

    It was also a few days before one of my best friend’s wedding back up here in Seattle. I remember struggling to try and find a flight/rental car/anything. It was impossible to get anywhere.

    For a long time, it seemed to me that other generations have had these big events (World Wars, Depression, Industrial Revolution, etc.) while the years I’ve been alive have been “normal.” It’s only been recently (as I get older I suppose and things start to take on a bigger picture) that I have begun to realize the historic impacts of the events occuring in our lifetime. This is definitely one of them.

  13. Kacie says:

    I was a freshman in college in downtown Chicago. At first I thought the footage that was on a tv I passed on my way to my first class was a movie. When class was dismissed I gathered with friends and watched when the second plane hit and the towers collapsed. We weren’t allowed back into our high-rise dorm buildings that afternoon.

    To be honest, though I didn’t get it. I understood that something horrible happened to the people in those towers, but I didn’t get the magnitude of it all until someone said more people died then the toll of Pearl Harbor.

    I struggled to react as emotionally as the kids around me did, though. I grew up overseas, and disasters were a part of life. Riots, famine, terrorist acts – I saw these firsthand. I couldn’t relate to the shock of vulnerability that American-raised kids were receiving. And I couldn’t relate as much to the feeling of patriotism and defensiveness towards our country. I questioned – why don’t we care as much when things like this happen in other countries?

    It took a while for me to see my own callousness and to understand the weight of what happened when the twin towers fell.

  14. justin says:

    i was living in queens, on my way into the city for work. the subways in queens run above ground so i saw smoke coming from the first tower on my morning commute- the passengers all thought it was a fire. by the time i got to work (midtown manhattan), my coworkers informed me that a plane had hit the tower- possibly an act of terrorism. as soon as they started to fall, we all left the office to head back home. by this time they had shut down the subway system. so i sat in a bus for three blocks but couldn’t bear to hear the hysterics while packed like a sardine, i got out and decided to continue on foot. it was a long walk from midtown manhattan to sunnyside, queens. i never realized how big the queensboro bridge is.

    the only other thing i remember is sitting at church the following sunday and singing…
    “i lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from…
    my help comes from you, maker of heaven, creator of the earth…
    oh how i need you, lord. you are my only hope. you’re my only prayer…
    so i will wait for you to come and rescue me, come and give me life…
    i lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from…”

  15. noexcusesbehavior says:

    I was only a freshman in highschool when September 11 changed the way we looked at the world. I was sitting in art class when suddenly the principal of our school walked into the classroom and announced that a plane was flown into the World Trade Center. He actually came to us a mere ten minutes after the first plane hit. The second plane brought an announcement over the speaker system.
    I was a bit concerned about the people who would have been in the buildings and on the planes, but I wasn’t concerned about our economy, the stockmarket, or the fact that many of my friends would end up in Iraq or Afghanistan three to four years later. I was fortunate enough to only lose one loved one to Iraqi bombings. From time to time I say a prayer for the emergency workers and their families. I say another prayer for the military and their families as well. I know I was scared when one of my best friends went to Bagdad. He called me every few weeks to let me know he was still alive, and it feels like I held my breath in between.

    I keep asking myself why? Why would someone think that they could devistate an entire nation by flying planes into the World Trade Center? They devistated individuals, not an entire nation. Individuals lost their lives and their families. The nation mourned as a whole, but most of the people I know weren’t directly affected by this. Life goes on and we continue. I’m proud that we did.

  16. RjL says:

    Hey Eugene-

    If you have time to read. It’s the Eulogy of one of my friends from my church blog

    http://www.bethanywell.com/2008/09/911-eulogy/

  17. maleesha says:

    I was working in Washington DC that morning. It was chaos. I too blogged my memories from that day.

  18. dmowen says:

    I was in college at Texas A&M when the attacks happened. I heard about the planes hitting the towers on the radio while I was driving to school and then saw the images on TV when I got there. I didn’t really know what to think until I heard reports about the plane hitting the Pentagon. That’s when I thought, wow, the US is under attack, like Pearl Harbor. The emotion I remember feeling at the time was kind of a…excitement is the wrong word… kind of a jazzed up energy. This may sound ridiculous, but I was picturing a scenario like Red Dawn where these were the opening salvos in an all out war on America and me and my friends were going to be fighting in the streets. So when nothing else happened the rest of the day it was kind of anticlimactic, like, that’s it? I guess being in a small town in Texas far removed from the East coast made the attacks seem remote and impersonal and the sentiment that these attacks fundamentally altered history (“America will never be the same”) seem like overreaction and hyperbole. It wasn’t until later that I processed grief, horror, and sympathy for the people killed that day.

  19. […] NPR has a moving story about the mother of a flight attendant who died that day on United 93.  Eugene Cho has asked people to share their own 9/11 stories at his […]

  20. I’ve blogged about it too…

  21. chenster22 says:

    i was in taiwan at the time, and someone messaged me on msn saying there’s been an attack on new york. i quickly went to the tv and found cnn on the taiwanese cable (the feed was from the US cnn).

    i remember just watching it, feeling stunned, and having this dreadful feeling that nothing was going to be the same again. my dad came home from work, and when he saw what happened, he didn’t say a word but his face told the story. i called my mom on her cell phone and tried explaining to her what happened.

    i won’t forget watching live as those towers collapsed. it just seemed so surreal. they kept showing that clip of the second plane hitting, and a figure of a smiling face in the smoke. it didn’t feel real, like it was some high budget movie. but it was real.

  22. Tom says:

    I was in Nairobi, Kenya, helping set up a new non-profit led by a Kenyan brother working among the squatter poor in the huge Kibera slum. So I didn’t find out till a day later when one of the folks I was working with mentioned in an aside to me that ‘a plane crashed into one of your big buildings.’ I thought he was talking about some small Cessna or something and thought it was sort of odd that he would even know about it. Went online and read the stories then eventually to CNN to watch the non-stop coverage. I ended up staying in Kenya for an extra week because flights in and out of Heathrow in London were cancelled. When I did eventually fly back to the US from London I virtually had an entire airliner to myself. Plenty of leg room :^)

    Conflicting emotions during those days. Felt very strange to be halfway around the world and not share the experience with friends and family and other Americans in real time. Lots of sadness and anger. Yet also, given the context I was in, some understanding intuitively of why people can be driven to do desperate things, so strangely, at least at that point, some small measure of empathy for the killers.

    Gratefulness too, because I was in Kenya long enough to experience a national day of prayer called by the government on behalf of the United States. It was amazing to see tens of thousands at prayer events for the US. That experience, particularly, has stuck with me over these past years and underscored how much we squandered that remarkable good will toward us.

    And lastly, a sense of foreboding. Many of my Kenyan friends asked me what I thought was going to happen next. I told them we’d be at war in Afghanistan within a month and very likely in other wars soon after because the government would use the events as a pretext for wider violence. All of them agreed about Afghanistan but none of them could imagine the U.S. fighting other wars that had nothing to do with 9-11. At the time their confidence was comforting, but not entirely convincing.

  23. chad says:

    i had just started my senior year of high school and was settling down to start work on an online class and a friend told me that there was a bombing on the World Trade centers and i distinctly remember asking her if anyone had checked for biological agents – i had no concept of what she was saying, i could only remember the earlier attacks on the parking garage of the trade centers and how there were bombs; i had also been reading a lot about bioterrorism and select agents recently so i was more concerned that a lot of people would get sick trying to help. then we turned on the tv and i could see what was happening. i really didn’t know how to process it, i even tried to do some classwork for a while but i don’t remember accomplishing anything. later that day i had to work and i remember asking my coworkers what they had heard about it.
    it took probably a full year for the full impact of the event to really hit me. i was fortunate enough to not have any loved ones in the towers or on the flights.
    i also remember vowing that nothing like that would ever happen on any plane i was ever on, not while i still breathed. that still stands.

  24. Sally K says:

    I am a doctor in northern Maine, and I was in the office, seeing patients. It was a gorgeous day. I spoke on the phone with a colleague who was at a remote clinic, reached by plane, and he said he wasn’t certain how he would get back to town, because all planes had been grounded, and then he told me why. No one in the office was really talking about it. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. My parents, brother and grandmother all live in NY, so i kept trying to call them, but I couldn’t get through.

    My kids were little, and their school had decided n ot to do anything, not to tell the kids, and not to close early, but to leave those decisions to the parents. So i picked the kids up after work, on this clear, perfect day, and they had a friend with them, and we were suppossed to go visit this pony farm near the school, and for some reason i hadn’t thought to cancel the appointment, so there we were, surrounded by these cute, fat, furry ponies, on this lovely, golden late summer day, knowing that this devastating thing had happenned, and mentally reeling with the incongruity of the events in NY and my reality in Maine.

    Our church had a service that night, and even in reserved, anti-religious New England, the place was packed. It was one of the most moving services I have ever participated in. New England Congregationalists don’t spend a lot of time talking about their salvation, but that night we corporately confessed our sin, and were assured that as followers of Christ we were promised eternal life. It was really powerful.

    I finally was able to connect with my family in NY, and, praise God, they were all okay, though my sister-in-law watched the second tower fall from her office, and walked all the way home to Brooklyn in her high heels, leaving her purse behind, and my mother has still not recovered emotionally from the thing.

  25. Matt says:

    It doesn’t seem like it’s been seven years already. Seems not that long ago. I was just working but when this happened, decided to enlist in the Navy.

    My hope is that we can pursue both diplomacy and also understand the role that we have in the world.

  26. canadiancatholicblog says:

    Matt highlights an important point- Post 9/11, diplomacy must be pursued as an answer to and as prevention of conflict. Dialogue helps to counter fear that is still very prevalent in post-9/11 America (including Canada, for that matter). That said, I believe in facing the threat posed by radicals who use their ‘religion’ to promote violence (thus it ceases to be religion and simply becomes evil). One cannot deny that violent extremists are out there. Islam has not helped its reputation by 9/11 and some of the events since then (London, Madrid, the riots in Paris, or the response to part of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg lecture, for example). I do think Islam is a fundamentally good religion that does seek the common good, albeit with many differences (but many commonalities) in understanding from the Catholic way of doing so. Religion was not the reason for 9/11, and atheism is not the proper answer to it. Anyway, these are just a few of my thoughts on the seventh anniversary of 9/11. I also pray for the victims of that day and of violence around the world, and for peace.

    As for where I was on 9/11/01, I was just arriving in Paris to begin a 10-month student exchange, studying Biology in Lille, France, an hour’s train trip from Paris. I found out about the planes hitting the World Trade Center when I joined with some other students in the TV room of the residence I was staying in. The horror of 9/11 was the first TV image I saw upon arriving in France after having flown 16 hours from Edmonton, Canada.

    Warren

  27. Wayne Park says:

    I was just too far from home. And I will always regret it.

  28. alliehope says:

    I remember that I was walking through the campus I was attending college at, past the main admin building. I overheard a couple staffers talking, saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I broke into a flat run back to my dorm room and hit CNN’s site, but there wasn’t much on it. I then went to the school’s commuter student lounge, where there was a tv tuned to CNN, and got there just in time to see the second tower hit, and wached both fall, crying (as was most of my campus).
    We ended up cancelling classes that day, and people hung out in groups in dorms most of the day until a campus memorial that evening. All I can remember thinking was the horror, and how quickly the world had changed.

  29. […] 11, 2008 at 12:42 pm · Filed under ramblings Many are reflecting on 9/11 today, in the blogging world as well as on the radio. Seven years have passed, and Brian McLaren’s post on the event is […]

  30. Sue says:

    Hi, Im from Australia.

    You Americans think you are so dammed special.

    Americans have been monstering and slaughtering other people right from the start–starting with the natve indians.

    All part of “god’s plan” for the white man in the USA.
    Bringing “jesus”, “god” and “civilization” to the heathen savages everywhere.

    Via the Monroe Doctrine and the associated policy of manifest destiny, slaughter of the “other” in their thousands has been standard USA foreign policy—-even an integral indelible part of the USA collective pysche.

    Check out what the USA did to the people of the Philipines for example.

    Meanwhile dreadfully sane “peace-loving” America is easily the largest maker, owner, seller and USER of WMD’s. It has over 700 overseas military bases and thousands on USA soil. The Pentagon military-industrial-“entertainment” complex is easily the most powerful USA institution—its “values” permeate every aspect of USA “culture”.

    Check out the book titled The Complex by Nick Turse

    The “culture” of death quite literally rules your country—and by extension the entire planet. And the psychotic crazies that “govern” you even want to extend their (your)psychosis into the heavens—-star wars.

    Nobody dares (its impossible) to even begin to queston this status quo—it would be political suicide—profoundly un-American

    This reference details the truth about applied USA foreign policy—the “culture” of death dramatised all over the planet in the name of freedom.

    1. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com

    Plus check out The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein too.

    And The End of Victory Culture by Tom Engelhardt

    Meanwhile thousands of children die each day—many of their deaths being due to applied USA foreign policy.

  31. eliseanne says:

    My high school projected CNN on the wall in the gym once they found out, for the whole day. Teachers brought their classes down to watch if they wanted to, otherwise we pretended we were learning new material in class when really everyone was checked out.

    It was a christian school, so we had a prayer meeting at the flag pole over lunch. Our principal had a relative who worked there so he was pretty shaken.

    I didnt even know what the world trade center or twin towers were until that day.

  32. Jodie Sargent says:

    I was in Belfast Northern Ireland at the time. I will never forget the stunned looks on peoples faces walking through the city. The A
    erican embassy steps were covered in flowers and notes of condolences. People were walking down the steets with tears streaming down their faces. The U.S had the sympathy and shared anger of most of the world. We had a prime opportunity to rebuild relationships in a way they should have been built. WE BLEW IT and continue to do so.

  33. levittmike says:

    I was working in downtown Chicago. My wife called my cell and left a voice mail about a plane hitting the WTC. I remember my knee buckling when I was listening to the voice mail. I didn’t have the same reaction with my heart (aka worry, despair, etc) until I arrived at the office (about 3 blocks from Sears Tower.)

    Our office staff had the TV on in the board room, and I saw the smoke coming from the 1st Tower. I still didn’t think much of the situation, so I proceeded to my desk. When one of my co-workers just yelled out a moan, I started walking back to the board room. “Another plane hit the 2nd tower.”

    That’s when I realized that something was up. People started calling people, and word spread quickly that there were other planes and the news coverage started speculating on planes going to DC and maybe Chicago (Sears Tower.)

    I paged a colleague of mine on his blackberry: “Turn on CNN” To this day, he vividly remembers getting that page.

    We reached our boss that had flown to Virginia that morning. He thankfully made it to VA safely.

    At that point, we made the call to send everyone home, because of the uncertainty of where the planes were flying. Being in downtown Chicago, you see planes all the time, with O’Hare being close.

    I walked (briskly) back to Union Station, and looked up at Sears Tower. I said aloud “I hope I see you tomorrow”

    Thankfully, I did.

    Prayers and blessings to all those affected on this fateful day.

  34. Lori says:

    I was having my morning coffee. I had no TV and I did not have the radio on. My best friend called to tell me what happened. My first reaction, like everyone else in this country, was astonishment and a sense of,Can this really be happening in this country, the greatest nation in the world. When I arrived at her house and watched the news coverage, my heart cried out to God. I hope that no one in this country is indifferent to the memory of what happened that day.
    Many will say “That’s history. Yes it was awful, but life goes on. We can’t change the past so lets live in the present and not get all caught up in the drama.” Let’s pray for the hearts of the people who supposedly turned to God during the aftermath of that fateful day. Are they still following, worshiping, hoping in, and proclaiming that God in their lives. I pray the answer is yes. God have mercie on us all.

  35. I’ve had to update the link in my post. 🙂

  36. […] By joshuacase ⋅ September 11, 2009 ⋅ Post a comment I kind of wonder if this post by Eugene Cho. is the kind of remembrance we need with regard to September 11th? Seems helpful to his readers. You? […]

  37. Andy M says:

    @Sue,
    I thank you for your honesty, and I would want you to know that there are many Americans who are also disgusted at much of our own country’s history and activities around the world. There are many Americans who want to end the very things you refer to. Just reading a few of the comments right here and you can find several that share their feelings on how our government has made a mess of things since 9/11.

    The truth of it is that every country’s people are likely to believe the best of their country and it’s people. This is true whether you are American, French, Italian, Kenyan, Vietnamese, Japanese, Australian, etc. Nationalism is everywhere. But the problem is that when nationalism is prominent in the strongest and most prosperous country in the world, the people in that country are going to be arrogant, and be blinded to the woes of the rest of the world. I would say that if a different country was the single largest power in the world, it would not be much different. It doesn’t excuse us, but it is to be expected. And I will add that I think there is a growing awareness in America about the U.S.’s uglier side.

    But it also does no good to ignore the good things that the U.S. does and has done. Being American, and working to be more aware of the affect of my personal lifestyle upon the people of the rest of the world, I see both the ugly side of my country, but also the beautiful side. We all need to see both the ugliness, but especially the beauty in each other, rather than just villianizing each other. The “Us” vs. “Them” mentality has reigned for way too long.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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