Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memory...

I was just 8 years old when my mom told me that something terrible was happening in New York. I didn't understand the significance of it then, but that day would impact me--and countless others--for years to come. It was a day unlike any other, a day when the security of our nation was breached for the first time since Pearl Harbor.

Where were you on 9/11?

I was saying goodbye to my dad on the driveway as he left for work. Little did I know, that somewhere on the other side of the country, countless children were doing the same. Only their parents wouldn't be coming home that night.

I remember sitting in front of the TV, watching the second plane hit.
I remember seeing anchormen standing in front of smoldering debris.
I remember hearing the wail of sirens.
Black smoke billowing into the sky.
People screaming the names of their friends and loves ones still trapped inside.

I can still feel the wave of fear that swept over me as I walked into church the next day and saw grown men whimpering on their knees like babies. Who can forget that day? Who can forget the sacrifice of men, women, police, and firemen who rushed in as the masses rushed out? Who can forget Todd Beamer's voice on flight 93, calling out, "Let's roll!"?

September 11th. It was a day of heroes. It was a day of death, fear and courage, love and despair. 

Let us never forget.

There was a radio ad that played quite often after the 9/11 attack. I loved it. Because, even at the tender age of 8, it reminded me, that despite haneous acts of terrorism, God was still on the throne. And His plan is still in commission, never to be hijacked...

"You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001. Neither will I. I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say, "Good-bye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am ready to go."

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night. I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out for Me for help.
"I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!"
I said, "Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now."

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered. I was on four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me? I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath.Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames;  "Come to Me...this way...take My hand."

Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there. I did not place you in the tower that day.  You may not know why, but I do. However, if you had been there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me? September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you.  But someday your journey will end.  And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go."I will be in the stairwell of your final moments. Remember...I love you. ~God"

I can't say that I understand how it feels to lose a loved one. I won't even begin to try. I don't know the right words to say or the comfort to give those for whom 9/11 is more than a national commemoration. But I know this. "God's story never ends in ashes (Elizabeth Elliot)." And if we will let Him, He can take the smoldering ruins of our broken hearts and rebuild it into something beautiful, something worth living--and loving--again.

Let freedom ring!

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