As the towers crumbled before the eyes of America, we all knew that the world had changed. Maybe not the world itself, but our world, our sense of it.
My children, on what began as an ordinary morning, had left for school. I thought of both of them. Did they know? Were they afraid?
Stories and pictures came throughout the day. The plane into the Pentagon, then the plane downed in the field in Pennsylvania, missing its intended rendezvous with national terror, instead taken down by a group of brave souls. Desperate relatives holding pictures, looking for loved ones. Phone calls that said “I love you” and “Good bye” for the last time. Other phone calls whose urgent ringing went unanswered. Heroes, rescuers who often fell alongside the victims.
The skies became strangely empty and silent for the first time in decades as all aircraft were ordered grounded.
Dust and terror flowed in the streets of New York and Washington D.C. We stared at our televisions with disbelief, and felt an uncertainty about the future of a magnitude not felt in America in a long time.
“Lord, please help us!”
Church doors opened, and people flowed in. At a noon prayer service that I attended, the pastor, seeing the crowd and led by the Holy Spirit, presented the Gospel. Leading the way for the many who flowed to the front to accept the invitation were the students of the church’s school, their gold coats looking like the advancing lines of an army, as indeed they were; God’s army.
The world was listening as Amazing Grace was sung, and as Billy Graham told them about Jesus.
On that day, Americans remembered what many had forgotten. What security and prosperity had blinded us to, fear and trembling opened our eyes to. It didn’t take long for us to forget again, but on that day, we knew; we needed God.
Genesis 50 - New King James Version
20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.