Summary: This message was prepared to observe the one year anniversary of 9/11/01.
Hope in the Midst of Tragedy
Where were you Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 when you heard the news about the planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center? What were the thoughts running through your mind? What were the emotions you felt as you watched the towers collapse to the ground?
I remember that morning very well. I was driving to the church when I heard on the radio about the planes hitting the towers. When I got to the office, I told Linda about what was happening. I tried to logon to the websites of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and several others, but couldn’t connect. They were all jammed. Finally, I went back home to watch the events on TV.
When I got home, Lisa and the boys were downstairs doing school. I told her what was happening and told the boys to come upstairs and watch the events as they unfolded before our eyes. I sat there in utter disbelief. I felt sadness and grief in the pit of my stomach. I had never seen the World Trade Center. I didn’t know anyone in the buildings. I have never been in the Pentagon and didn’t know anyone there. I didn’t know anyone on flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. Yet, I couldn’t escape the grief and loss of all those who had died.
When the towers fell, the grief and loss grew. My tears moistened as I watched in disbelief that this was happening on American soil. I couldn’t get out of my mind those whose lives were no more. I could escape the pain of the family members at home who lost their loved ones. I felt paralyzed as I sat, glued to the images and sounds on the TV. Images and sounds that still play on the screen and speakers of my mind.
An immediate question that many people began asking was where was God when this happened? Listen to these words written by an unknown person who answers this question well.
9-11 "letter from God"
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 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 were 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.
Tragedy happens when we least expect it. We get up every morning expecting the day to be like the one before it. We go through our morning routine as usual. We drive to work, school, or wherever we go assuming that we will return home later that day. We never know when tragedy will strike. We take for granted that our loved ones will return home from school, work, the golf course, or shopping in town. We do not like to dwell on these thoughts. After all, this could never happen to me.