It has been 10 years since our country suffered a great wound in NYC when the Twin Towers were hit and many lives were lost. Today at church Bro. Flowers preached on the sovereignty of God and asked if we could remember where we were and what we were doing on Sept. 11 when we first heard the news.
I can never forget that day. I had had a troubling dream right before I woke up on the morning of September 11. In my dream I was in New York City and there were dark clouds overhead. Everyone was looking up in the sky and suddenly there appeared a giant helium baloon over the city. Then the baloon popped and a skeletons head appeared. People scattered in every direction as dust and ash began to settle on the city. I woke up alarmed. The dream had such an eerie feeling to it and I couldn’t shake the sense of foreboding. For the record, I am not one given to alarming dreams as I believe the Lord gives His beloved restful sleep.
The strangeness of the dream lingered. I felt an urgency to get out of my house and did something I’ve never done before. I drove to Walmart just to break the uneasy feeling. When I went into Walmart there were very few people there and I remember how that in itself was strange. There were a few people milling around and they seemed dazed. I felt like I was still dreaming. I went to a woman who was crying and asked her what was wrong. “Haven’t you heard? The United States is under attack”. I told her the dream I had just had and she told me of the terrorist attack in NYC.
When I went home I went into my garage and found an old black and white tv someone had donated for a garage sale. I hooked it up to see if I could get the news. All I knew was that I had to call my son, Clay, who worked in Manhatten at the time. Somehow the TV began to show images and it was playing and replaying the first tower being hit by a plane. I called my son and miraculously got through. The phone lines were jammed so only God knows how this one call got through. Clay answered and told me what had just happened. As we were talking I watched the second tower being hit. He didn’t know and as I relayed what was happening he told me that he had to leave because they were evacuating the building. I remember saying, “Not until we pray.” I said a quick prayer and asked the Lord to protect him and help him to find his wife who was working in another part. Clay is legally blind.
The rest of the day I waited to hear news from my son and I’ll never forget the relief when I finally heard his voice that evening. The first miracle was that he and his wife did find each other through the chaos that was going on in NYC. They only had one option and that was to begin the many miles walk home as all hope of other transportation was gone. Clay told me how they began the long walk over Brooklyn Bridge with so many others attempting to escape. He and his wife were the last two people allowed to cross over the bridge before it was shut down. Many hours later they made their way home. I was so grateful to the Lord for their safe journey and thankful that I had prayed. I know God answers prayer.
The next day I had a trip planned to Costa Rica. My tickets had been purchased well in advance.
Many friends recommended that I not make the trip as the country was in shock and plane travel was not considered safe. I decided to put my hands in the life of the Lord Jesus and made the trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. Most people had cancelled their flight and there were very few people on the plane. I still have the front page of the Costa Rican newspaper with the alarming news of the World Trade Center attack.
As I remember my life and the many times there has been unexpected and tragic news, it seems that the memories have been softened by knowing the Lord is in control and he can bring beauty out of the ashes.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3