We all remember where we were at that fateful moment – when we first heard or saw the news of the 9/11 attacks. It was a day that started like any other but quickly turned into one that changed our country forever.
I was sophomore and in my high school choir class. We were rehearsing some songs for our upcoming fall concert and had broken into small groups to practice our individual parts. I was a soprano at the time and our group went outside to an alcove area next to the Fine Arts hall. We were soon called back into the choir room and our dear director, Mr. Baker, broke the horrible news. We were all shocked to say the least. We cried, we hugged, and tried to wrap our heads around the tragic events that occurred.
Then something beautiful happened. In the midst of the fresh suffering and pain in our hearts, Mr. Baker asked that we rehearse one particular song before class ended. It was an arrangement of the poem “The Call” by George Herbert. The words that we’d already been rehearsing for a month took on new meaning and emotion that day.
This song is what I always think of on 9/11. Sure, I remember the news reports and the horrific videos of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. I remember the realization in my 15 year old mind that terrorism is a reality in our world. I remember the way that Americans banded together in such a patriotic and loving way. But above all, I remember “The Call”.
It is a reminder that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He gives us the gift of life, ends all strife, and removed the sting of death with His own. He is our light and our strength, especially in the darkest hours. He is joy and love that none can move or part. Not even terrorists who take the lives of innocent people.
Here are the words of Herbert’s poem and the lyrics to the song that will forever have a special place in my heart. Especially today, on 9/11, as we remember the victims of such a senseless act of hate and terror. If your hearts are heavy, I pray that you find peace, love, and strength in the one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
(I also have a recording of our choir singing it at a concert back in 2001, if you’d like to listen)
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.
Come, My Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joys in love.