There are still images that flash through my mind from this weekend. Stirring my soul. Creeping into my thoughts. Haunting me, actually. When I arrived at JFK, I zipped over the terminal on the AirTrain and watched a car burst into flames. The train was paused long enough for me to watch as the car continued to burn, engulfed in the flames. My nerves grew tense as I thought about national security and tried to catch the haunted looks of others on the train.
The following morning at about 4 am, I snuck to the bathroom on my old seminary dorm floor where I was staying that night in an extra room. (I am a master at couch surfing when I visit New York.) I heard my name called down the hall only to be greeted by one of my dearest friends. She was having heart palpatations, so we went to the emergency room. And we sat as tests were done to assure that she was in fact well. A baby made our stay last longer. We heard rumors of trauma. We overheard whispers as the stepfather of this young child was interviewed. And then, we saw the gurney with the child wheeled into another room for the grieving family to say goodbye. I sat outside of the x-ray room waiting for my dear friend as I heard the mother enter the room and burst into haunting wails. Cries of protest. Cries of lament and disbelief.
I don't know what to say about these things. Are they just things that happened? Or is there something there? Is there meaning to be discovered in the haunting of their memory? I don't know. And yet, as I open my mail this afternoon when I arrived so late to church, I was surprised a card from a confirmand. A confirmand who perhaps has written the words that find meaning in the stories we do not know what to do with:
Thank you for all of the words of wisdom. Hopefully, I will receive more as time passes.