I got a splinter yesterday. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I walked into our utility closet and when I stepped back out, a shooting pain went through my foot. I sat on the floor examining my foot, and while I could tell where the splinter was, it was so small I couldn’t actually see it. But I continued to feel it and as I walked around, I began to adjust the way that my foot landed on the ground, careful not to add pressure to the injured area. When I woke up this morning the pain was mostly gone, replaced by a dull ache, mostly imperceptible except for the few instances I stepped down wrong on my foot. In those moments the pain would come rushing back and I would stand still waiting for it to subside, planning my way forward with the least amount of pain.
There are two dates in my life which I often use to measure my passage through time- whether events happened before or after those days- October 29, 2016 and September 11, 2001. While one date is still fresh in my memory, the other lingers in the background- no longer dominating each waking moment, but not content to be silent either. In many ways I am healed from that day, the constant flood of images and emotions has long dried up. But in other ways, much like my splinter, I recognize that I walk now with an injured area that requires special attention, a limp that I can’t completely ignore. And while the pain has lessened through the years, there are moments that come, usually unexpectedly, when the pain shoots through as fresh as the day it was first felt, and I stop, stand still, and wait for it to subside.
Today was one of those days, so tonight in the quietness of my home, I choose to remember that day, and the brave men and women who died, for the families that were shattered and the lives that were broken.
I choose to remember.
I choose not to relive.
And I choose to say, God is still good.