Sunday, September 12, 2004

SEPTEMBER 11TH....I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN

For varying reasons I missed the opportunity to blog on 9/11/04 about the memorials, my own experience, etc.. so here I am a day late, yet the feeling of remorse is still with me and others that I've spoken to about 9/11. So I figured I will blog anyway. I don't have any articles to link to or interesting memorials, just my own account of that day and maybe some other tidbits.

When I found out about the attacks, I was at home, getting ready to go to work. I had just finished getting dressed and went downstairs to prepare breakfast for my boys. My older son had already turned on the t.v., possibly hoping to sneak in some cartoon watching before heading to school. The channel happened to be on channel 4 NBC network when the t.v. was turned on, and there it was as plain as day, a live shot of the twin towers, with one in flames and enveloped in smoke. My son thought it was a movie and even asked me what the name of it was. I looked closely and told him with a rumbling of fear and anxiety that "I don't think this is a movie son". We sat there a few seconds and eventually a voice over began to explain that one of the towers had just been hit by an airplane. My God! I exclaimed. We all sat there looking, even my younger son, who was still just a baby, was unusually quiet. I stayed glued to the t.v. and then it happened, a second plane crashed into the second tower. I could not believe my eyes! It was the most amazing, extraordinary thing I had ever seen. With the first plane crash I thought to myself, what a horrible accident, but after the second crash I immediately knew, this was no accident. Then memories of the earlier attacks on the WTC came to mind, and the bombing in Yemen as well. It all began to make sense then. As I watched in horror, tears began to fall from my eyes at which point I decided to pull myself together and get the kids out to school and daycare, and get to work. I don't know why I decided to continue the day as normal, I just did. For the rest of the day, I had a surreal type of feeling over me, I was very detached. The world just didn't seem like it was real anymore. As for my older son, he really did not fully appreciate what was happening at the time and seemed to dismiss it after dropping him off at school.

Where I worked at the time, as most people there know that I am a bible believing Christian, I found it hard to focus and was constantly interrupted by co-workers asking me questions as to why God would allow such a thing to happen, or some asking me to pray for there family who were in New York. There was one young woman in particular that stands out in my mind. I found her response quite surprising in that she had never seemed like a very "deep" or spiritual person to begin with. She found it extremely difficult to resolve the logic behind such an attack and God's love and mercy. The jist of our conversation? To her, God was either very cruel and unloving, or did not exist at all, since he had allowed such atrocities to occur. I sat and reasoned with her for some time, encouraging her that God was still in control of all things, inspite of what had recently happened. I then sort of educated her on the notion of sin and how 9/11 is one of many consequences of this world being cursed with sin. That only through the redemption of Jesus Christ can there be any salvation from it. I also assured her that the souls of those individuals in the planes and the towers were in the hands of God now, as they always were really.

I was reminded of Romans 8:37-39
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I told her of this chapter and verse and explained to her that if we abide in Christ and obey the law of God, then His love will keep us, protect us, and guide us. That there is nothing in this world that can or will separate us from God. I then encouraged her to receive Jesus Christ as her savior and to turn away from her sins. She then broke down into tears and cried heavily. We then prayed and then she went to the ladies room to "freshen up". I did not see or hear from her for the rest of the day. The day seemed to go on longer than usual and all that we could do was talk about what happened, why it happend and what it possibly meant. When I got home, I had tons of messages from friends and family asking me if I had heard about what happened. The following days were spent between home and church, mostly at church as there were a great many services, memorials, and so forth for the members. I assisted where I could, including praying for those who were in grief.

On yesterday, I didn't really do anything specific for 9/11. Just spent all day with my boys, being a dad and thanking God that we were still here. The biggest thing I learned from the 9/11 attacks was gratitude, gratitude for my family, for the opportunities I have in my business, for my family, my country, and most importantly, for salvation in Jesus Christ. I thank God almighty for the wisdom of His word. Without it I would not have the courage to speak the truth in love, and without it many of the families of the victims of 9/11 would not have any comfort or hope.

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