Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)
TITLE: Manhattan Angels
By Carol Dee Meeks
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UPWARD BASKETBALL MISSION TRIP in New York City. We went in on Billy Graham’s coattail, so we decided we watered his seed. We used a basketball as a tool to spread Jesus’ Story. It was an honor to share God’s word. It was a pleasure to see young boys and girls accept Christ into their lives.
We were there ten days. We stayed at St. John’s University several blocks from ground zero. We could walk there in minutes. We went twice. I felt we were invading New York’s privacy, but once there, ground zero drew us to its burrow, its hole, the ugly gap left by hate and repugnance and hostility.
There was always a crowd. On the second visit, we walked across the street to the fire department. It was small for New York but we saw the fire-fighters sitting on the rear bumper of their fire truck. They gave us the grand tour. Pictures and hats, and equipment of the fire-fighters who lost their lives adorned the walls. They told us their names, the number of children they left behind, and how they felt that fatal day in 2001. Tears made them stop in the middle of sentences. Still, broken sentences were understood by us. Again, I felt we were invading their privacy.
“I would never change professions,” one said to Pat and I after allowing us to snap pictures. They all agreed as another added, “It’s all I know. It’s all I want to do.”
The alarm sounded. They gave us a hug before they left on this emergency. We wished them well and watched a red blur with prior fire-fighters faces, fade into the afternoon.
My most sacred keepsake of that trip is the picture we took with the two firefighters who did all the talking. We have a picture of angels...angels that rose to the occasion and put their life at stake to help others in need. These angels are happy as firefighters even though their lives are put in danger many times a day or week, and I’m sure they’ll receive eternal rewards.
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