9/11-That is a date that is branded in my memory. I woke up that morning to a phone call from my daughter (who lived in New York City). She asked me if I was watching the TV. I wasn’t. So I turned it on. Then she told me what had happened. I was barely awake so it took a bit for everything to register. When she told me it was a clear day and a second plane had flown into the towers, I knew we were talking TERRORISTS.
Daughter and Husband Safe!
She went on to tell me that her husband had been on the phone a few blocks from the towers, in the financial district and seen the first plane hit. He went out to tell (disbelieving) co-workers about it when they saw the second plane hit on nearby TV monitors. Once I knew she and her husband were safe, I needed to find out about my brother, an American Airlines captain who routinely flew out of Kennedy.
I watched the TV for awhile. My fears were not lessened when I heard that some flights were from Kennedy (later proved false). I also heard that one flight crashed near Harrisburg, PA (the city where he lives). I decided to try his home phone even though he never answered it. It only rang a couple of rings and then I heard his welcome voice on the other end. What a relief! It turned out that he was off that day.
Another Close Call
As you can imagine, our TV was on all day. As new news came, new challenges to our faith also arose. We got updates from our daughter during the day. We knew that Bryan (her husband) was going to be walking home from downtown. There were no other options! Then we heard that the building fell. Of course, we couldn’t get through on the phone lines! There was no way to find out if he had gotten out safely or not! In desperation, his mom called us to see if we had heard anything. No. After a few hours we got word. He was okay.
Smoke From Ruins
That evening we spoke to our daughter again. She said it seemed so surreal. From their apartment in northern Manhattan, they could see a beautiful sunset with smoke rising peacefully in the distance. There was no indication of the violence that had shaken the world earlier that day.
What a difference our lives would be today IF… but that IF never happened. Our extended family was not harmed. In the nine years since, they have had three little girls…and moved to a different coast. My brother lived to retire from American Airlines despite the increased dangers from terrorists. All of us have “adjusted” to the post 9/11 realities of life.
Have We Learned to Trust God?
Sadlly, it seems we have become more blase and secular in our world. As we have adjusted to the “realities” of post 9/11, it seems we aren’t as dependent of God as we once were…or seemed to be. Maybe we had adjusted too well. Become too confident in our ability to protect ourselves? God help us!