Hidden Blessing Follows the Day the Earth Stood Still
Each of us, I’m sure, can remember where we were and what we were doing when terrorists hijacked two jetliners and flew them into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
It was a bright and beautiful morning, the Wayne County Fair was in full swing, and suddenly our world was shattered in an instant. I remember a co-worker rushing into our office after the second plane crashed into the South Tower and saying, “Welcome to World War III.”
It was, indeed, a harrowing time for all of us. Our relatively peaceful and comfortable routines were upended as we were forced to reckon with our own mortality.
Not surprisingly, the sanctuary at Church of the Cross, where we attended at the time, was packed that following Sunday morning. There were a number of unfamiliar, but welcome, faces of people filled with angst and uncertainty. This was probably the case at Oak Chapel, too.
“What next?” I wondered. “Don’t ask,” I thought. Turned out, I didn’t have to. A delightful woman in our church who regularly delivered the children’s sermon had been killed the day before in an automobile accident on Route 83 North. A pickup truck tried to pass, but then panicked when he saw another car coming in the opposite direction. He laid on his horn and startled the woman’s husband who was driving. He tried to ease off the road so the pickup could get over, but his tire ricocheted off the berm, sending their vehicle across the other lane where it was hit broadside by another car, instantly killing his wife. I cannot express the grief we all felt that morning, but I will never forget it.
Somehow we all regrouped and rallied by falling back on our faith and moving forward with our lives. When tragedy strikes, Scripture provides comfort, including these words of encouragement from the Book of Psalms: Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken;” Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you;” and Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
God is always with us! We all know that, but in times of adversity and trauma, we often lose sight of His promise to comfort, assure, and heal. Despite the horrific tragedy of 9/11, we managed to regain our footing and carry on.
And, oh by the way, something else happened the following day that would affect our church nearly 20 years later. Joshua James Cline was born on Sept. 12 of that year. Soon he will be helping to lead our youth and our church to what we believe will be a period of revival and greater glory! Praise be to God!
Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John