Do you remember where you were September 11, 2001 when planes hit the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania? I remember being in downtown Detroit advocating for children in Michigan’s Foster Care system, at a Foster Care Review Board meeting. We hadn’t even started taking testimony when the first plane hit.
I don’t remember being notified and leaving the meeting room for live news coverage. We watched two of the planes hit and waited to hear from Lansing. We were advised that the Michigan Supreme Court had cancelled all meetings and we were to leave. Normally, I would have been grateful to get home early from my volunteer position and pick my ten-year-old son from school. But, that day the feeling was different. Was it Worry? Anxiety? Doom? Panic? Or, just knowing this would change our lives forever.
I exited the building and headed toward the parking lot, seeing downtown in traffic gridlock. As I tried to exit the parking lot, much to my surprise, found everyone looking out for and helping each other. It was slow moving, but everyone worked together for the benefit for all. I had never seen so many calm-caring people working together in Detroit, it was amazing.
I tried several times to call my husband at work, but all the circuits were busy. I knew he would have information for our area, as the Director of Public Safety. I found myself thinking about getting home to my son and husband. How was I going to explain this attack to my son? How do you explain evil in this world? In his short life, the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma had been bombed and there was a massacre at Columbine High School. He was too young to understand or even ask about the Murrah Federal Building and I don’t remember how we explained Columbine to him, but know we did. I remembered how he processed the massacre and intense media coverage; apparently some of the boys played FBI agents and rescued other classmates during recess. He explained to me how they rescued classmates on our ride home from school. But, how do you explain the pure evil that attacked our country on 911?
We tried to explain the 911 attacks best we could and knew it would also be talked about at school the following day. Well, when I picked him up from school, much to my surprise he was very angry at “Arabs”. I don’t know if he received the information from other students or staff, but I didn’t like it. I named several friends and asked him if he knew they were Arabic, he didn’t know. We asked him if he knew the difference between our friends and the individuals that attacked us. We explained our friends know Christ as their Lord and Savior, the terrorists are just plain evil. There is a lot of evil in this world and we need to focus on the saving power of Christ.
The first time I flew after 911 was very unnerving. Tears started uncontrollably flowing from my eyes when first seeing military personal in an airport with AK-47’s. I knew from treating PTSD and trauma survivors in my chosen career and my stubbornness of not allowing terrorism to win, I needed to get on that flight. I was flying with two eleven-year-old boys, my husband was staying behind, I had to get home with the boys for school. Myself and the boys knew Christ as our Lord and Savior and we had nothing to fear. I was thankful we took that flight.
Throughout the years and with different events, my initial reaction may be fear or anxiety, but only until I remind myself who I have with me. I cannot describe the peace that you experience knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior. With each year my faith has grown stronger and stronger. If you don’t know or haven’t accepted Christ, it isn’t difficult and perfection isn’t a requirement. Come as you are, ask for forgiveness, and believe.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Pray for those throughout the world continually targeted by the Evil One and terrorism.