By the time you read this we will have statistics about the terrible, infamous events that occurred a few hours ago in New York and Washington.
As I write, at noon on Tuesday, I have not yet seen television reports. I’ve heard bits and pieces on the radio. I’ve spoken with my children, both of whom suggested that I wait before watching televised reports.
We are stunned…rendered senseless. It’s the only word that seems to fit. It’s from the Latin ‘extonare,’ to thunder. We’ve been dealt a blow that shocks and stupefies.
At this moment I can feel my mind resisting the information which is seeping through, even as I know I must allow it to enter my conscious mind. It’s still too soon.
The fanaticism behind the unbelievable, inhuman acts of terrorism is a reminder of the worst part of humans. It is, we must acknowledge, an aspect of that which some call religion, and from which those of sound mind want to distance themselves.
I’m writing under pressure, not only time pressure–to get the newsletter printed, but the psychological pressure that feels overwhelming.
This morning I went to a scheduled clergy meeting in Mt. Kisco. Just before I left my office to go to the meeting, Bobbie told me that he heard that a plane crashed into one of the twin towers. Then Jonathan called me from the railroad station, on his way to New York City where he was to work for the day. But I had no idea how extensive the tragedy was.
A dozen Unitarian clergy colleagues arrived at Mt. Kisco, turned on a radio and listened to an incredible eye-witness account. We shared stunned silence. David Bryce read from the Psalms, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” We talked, briefly, then returned to our separate churches to be available to our people.
I am humbled by the task which remains before us: “To bind up the nations wounds,” as Lincoln said. To be present to and for one another; to offer mutual support; to listen with mutual compassion.
Now it’s time to draw on the best in our human nature. We are here for one another. We will gather at our usual times on Sunday morning, sharing thoughts, concerns and the love which brings and holds us together.