It was my first day at a new job. I had just joined the Staff of a large Church in the Midwest. That morning I arrived carrying my first box of items into the office; the receptionist was nowhere to be found. Had I beat her in the office my first day? Then I noticed there was no one at their cubicles, offices were empty. Everyone seemed to be crowded around a television in the break room. In this moment I have to honestly say the first thought that went through my mind was, ”This is going to be an awesome place to work.” Seconds later I would discover that five hijackers had just crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
About 15 minutes later United Airlines Flight 175 would crash into the South Tower. Stunned I walked into my office and sunk down in my chair. The phone rang and my Father was on the other end of the line. At the time my Dad was serving as the Executive Director of a Naval Sub base. His voice was clear and somber, “The subs have been deployed. Someone has attacked the United States. You and Lisa need to get your money out of savings, fill up the vehicles with gas, pack your bags and figure out how to get back to the East Coast.” That afternoon Lisa and I tried to unpack into our two bedroom town-home that we had just moved into, but with the images on the television and the fighter jets from the nearby Air Force base flying overhead it made it a little tough to focus on unpacking.
I remember waiting in line that evening to get gas in the car…and then when it was finally my turn I remember paying $2.00 more per gallon than it was just 24 hours earlier.
A lot has changed in the last 10 years. My Dad is retired, I’ve got three kids, the large Church I am working at now is a different one, and that price I paid for gas that night seems to be the normal going price.
But 10 years removed from that day those same emotions that I experienced came rushing back as I once again watched those awful images on the television this weekend. But what I know to be true is that no matter how crazy, unexpected, or dark life gets God’s love is consistent through it all. He is described in the Scriptures as a hiding place, a rock, a refuge, and a comforter. And He is consistently those things and more to me in my life.
I come from a family with a rich military background. My grandfather was in World War 2, my uncle in Vietnam, my cousin is a Ranger, and we can literally trace our family line back to men who fought in the Civil War. Yet I am still floored by the courage and servant attitude of those who stand in the gap and serve our country and provide freedom at a high price to my family. When everyone else is trying to run out of burning buildings and away from the sound of the battle these incredible men and women run towards danger and place themselves in harms way for us.
These incredible defenders of our freedom are more like Christ than you know. Like Christ they stand in the gap for us, between evil and us. They willingly lay down their lives for others who have yet to even meet them. These people are truly heroes.
If you have served in the Military or as a First Responder, let me simply say thank you. I honor you and I am grateful for your service.
Where were you when you received the news that airplanes had hit the World Trade Center Towers?
Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation