THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 - A decade ago our nation came to a standstill as the 9/11 terrorist attacks made a historical impact on America. Ten years later we reflected this past weekend during the one decade anniversary of the event on the families, emergency responders and our country in general, and how the events of that day will always stick with us in some way. It is common for me to use this blog space to express my religious viewpoints and I will attempt to do so again today. This post is a little long compared to my normal ramblings, but I ask that you read it. If you ever wonder if God ever exists and if he cares at all for us tiny humans I hope you will take the time to reflect on this story.
A man for Norfolk, Virginia recently called into a local radio station to share his September 11, 2001 memories. These are his words:
A few weeks before September 11 my wife and I had found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister. On our way to the airport on the morning of her flight, September 11, 2001, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said "Amen" we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently. We had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. Both, very upset, we drove home. I received a call from my father who was retired City of New York firefighter. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but we explained that she missed her flight. My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower. I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. "This is not something I can just sit by for, I have to do something."
I was concerned for his safety, of course, but moreso because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off the phone, he said "Take good care of my grandchild." Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort. My joy in that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. Anger at God, at my father, and at myself.
I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say goodbye. Then something happened. In 2003, I was sitting at home with my wife and son when there was a knock at the door. My wife and I were not expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child. The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, "I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son." He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, "there is something else you need to know."
His wife then told me as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news. Now I know that when I get to heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves. When their baby boy was born, they named himed Jacob Matthew in honor of the man who gave his life so that a mother and baby could live.
This story should help us realize two things. First, that though it has been 10 years since the attacks we should never let it become a mere memory. And second, but most importantly, God is always in control. We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.