Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

It's hard to believe that it was 7 years ago that the United States suffered it's worst attack. I remember like it was only yesterday where I was on that fateful day. At the time I was working with In Touch Ministries as a media representative. Me and another rep for the ministry were attending a religious broadcasters regional meeting in Michigan. Everything seemed to be normal - we arrived on that Monday afternoon and caught up with many of the radio stations that aired Dr. Stanley's radio program. We worshiped with Charles Billingsley and Selah and heard a powerful message.

The next morning, after a good night sleep, I got up and got ready for another good day - or so I thought. As I was making my way to the dining hall for breakfast, I saw a number of my colleagues gathered around the only television at the conference center watching as the first plane hit the World Trade Center. It was surreal! We all started discussing why possibly could have gone wrong - the pilot drunk, systems on board not working, etc. Then it happened - the second plane hit! At that point we all knew - this was no mistake, this was no error. This was an attack.

My partner and I went into full emergency mode. I called the ministry and asked if Dr. Stanley was OK (he was on vacation in Canada) and they told me he was unable to get across the border. My partner started to call for a rental car to get us home. I started to get a number of calls from family and friends knowing that I was away on business. When my wife called in a little panic because she heard from her folks - stuck in Detroit unable to finish their trip to Seattle. Throughout this morning, Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois, gather all the attendees to pray for those who were resoponsible, pray for the victims and their families, pray for our leaders and their response to the situation. I will always respect Dr. Lutzer for his sensitivity to that situation.

The drive home was exhausting. We were able to get my in-laws in Detroit and make it back to Atlanta early the next morning. At In Touch, the staff was busy trying to get Dr. Stanley back to Atlanta so he could be ready to minister at First Baptist, Atlanta. That situation was a miracle in of itself. Some how Mission Aviation Fellowship was able to secure permission to fly to Montana, where Dr. Stanley was able to get to, and pick him up and fly him back to Atlanta. Remember, the airspace over the United States was closed - no flights, nothing! God knew exactly what needed to be accomplished and it was done!

As I think back to the weeks that followed and the ouutpouring of love and concern; how the churches were filled to overflowing; how the country became united behind one cause, I'm saddened to see where we are now. We are in the middle of an election where each side is blaming each other, accusing each other. What happened to that unity? What happened to all those who looked to God for support and comfort? Why have we forgotten the sacrifice, the heroism?

Let's not forget 9/11. Let this day be a reminder that we are not in control of the world around us, but we know who is. Let's continue to look to God for support, comfort and peace in a time where all that is in short supply.

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