It was a sunny, blue-sky, late summer morning. An ordinary day, September 11, 2001. I’d watched the news and weather on TV earlier, but I was now into my daily routine at home.
My husband’s nephew had called to say his wife was in labor, so my husband, who was a pastor at the time, went to visit them before they left for the hospital.
About mid-morning, my husband called. On his way home, he had the car radio on. “You’d better turn on the TV. There’s something going on, but I’m not sure what.”
I couldn’t comprehend what I saw–one of the Twin Towers in Manhattan in smoke. “What’s this? What’s going on?” Then an airplane rammed into the second tower. “Why did the airplane do that?”
I watched in horror as one then the other tower collapsed.
We sat glued to the TV screen, overwhelmed with emotion as the news commentators talked about terrorists, and about the subsequent attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of the plane in Shanksville, PA. This plane had probably been destined for the Capitol or White House in Washington, DC, and only the heroic acts of passengers kept it from the intended goal. Airports were shut down, and we waited to hear from the President.
Pandemonium, loss of life, heroic acts on the part of firemen, police, and other First Responders, and a strange, other-worldly sensation. Many people, many faiths, many ethnicities. We in upstate New York were on the periphery of what was going on, unless we had a loved one in one of those places that day. I can’t imagine what the people caught in the chaos experienced.
Two of our children were attending college in South Carolina, the third lived in Massachusetts with her husband and infant daughter. They were all so far away, and we couldn’t be with them, but they were safe and well.
“I can’t do any work,” my husband said that afternoon.
We’d been planning to get a new mattress for our bed, so we went mattress shopping. I think we needed time to process what had happened and to get away from the terrible scenes on TV. Our day, our lives, had been disrupted. And we didn’t know what to expect next.
I remember the spirit of unity that existed in the United States for several months after 9-11. Neighbors helping neighbors and praying. Politicians in Washington working and praying together for our country’s needs. And our international neighbors reaching out to encourage and aid us. “The best of times and the worst of times” scenario from Charles Dickens’ classic work came to mind.
I don’t know why God allowed the 9-11 attacks, why nearly three thousand people died that day. Jeremiah 17:9 in God’s Word says that “the heart is deceitful” and “desperately wicked.” Satan, the prince of the power of the air, has been at work since the deception in the garden of Eden and is at work for now.
Since 9/11/2001, I think I’m more aware of the world and more sympathetic to the people caught up in the pain and suffering of warfare. I have a greater understanding of how much the world needs Jesus Christ, His truth, His peace, His strength.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the work—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1John 5:4,5
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
One day, the prince of the power of the air will be eternally bound, and Jesus Christ will reign as King forever:
“at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10,11
The world has changed since that chaotic Tuesday. Life in the United States has changed. Our stable, somewhat peaceful existence shattered that day. I’m grateful that Jesus Christ has my future secured.
If you are looking for fiction books about 9/11, I recommend Karen Kingsbury’s 9-11 Series, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Remember Tuesday Morning. Loree Lough also wrote about this event in her First Responders Series, especially From Ashes to Honor.
My contemporary romance novels aren’t about 9-11, but you can buy them at Amazon and other book sellers.