My thoughts on 9/11

This post was written by Pete

A photo of a cross from mangled metal taken by Anne Bybee about three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, on the backside of Ground Zero.

I write this blog reflecting upon the events of 9/11/01. I was searching on twitter this morning reading about other people’s experience on that day and I found myself thinking of what I was doing and where I was at during those horrific moments.  At the time, I was living in California and received a call from a good friend that lived in GA around 5:55 am PST. He urgently told me to turn on the TV, and dreadfully told me that a plane had hit the world trade center. You see 9/11 is my friend’s birthday and we usually talk on that day, but surely not at 5:55 am PST or 8:55 am EST. He wasn’t sure if it was a terror attack but he could sense that something was very wrong than it appeared to be.

As prompted by my friend, my wife and I turned on the TV and began watching the events unfold right before us.   To our dismay we saw the second tower get hit by the plane as it was happening on live TV. We were stunned and sat in utter silence; we could not believe what we were seeing. We knew immediately we were under attack by some sort of enemy! We began praying and really didn’t know what to do next. We called our parents and woke them up to tell them the horrific news. We were supposed to head in to the office to work, but we wanted to stay and watch the news. So we lingered in front of the TV for a while longer and then the reports that the pentagon was also hit and fear began to build up within us. Questions started running through our minds like, how many more planes were involved, what else was going to be hit this day. I could not believe what I was witnessing.  I remember thinking this can’t be happening in the U.S.A. could it? We have better security than most countries, don’t we? How could something like this happen on U.S. soil? The first initial days after the attack were filled with crazy uncertainty, and the reality of it all was surreal to know that we as a nation were under attack.

After a while my wife and I headed into our office to find our employees there, but they were all sitting in silence as they were intently listening to a radio that we had in the office. It’s safe to say that there was no work being done that day, everything and everyone was stopped. We all headed home early because we were all too shaken up to even think about what work we had to do. That evening another fear crept into my mind, the question of how is this going to affect my business? I know that is a selfish thing to think at such a time, but honestly, that is what popped into my head.  I was outside looking at the stars and there was not a single plane in the sky. It was an eerie feeling and the uncertainty of everything was fresh. I could sense business as usual was not going to be happening as we knew it.

I remember the day after this horrific event, my wife and I went into the office to find that no one was working because our clients were not picking up their phones. The country as a whole was on complete lock down.  No one was working, nor did we have the desire to work knowing the countless numbers of people who lost their lives, all those families who were suddenly without a family member, all those first responders that died valiantly while helping; so we went to church to pray. Churches were packed with individuals seeking some sort of comfort. The prayers flowing from the people were raw, vulnerable and crushing. The prayers were not your normal memorized prayers we were hearing, they were gut wrenching prayers filled with anguish. There was a movement of surrender like something I have never experienced before. There were no politics, in fact, I remember watching TV to see congress as a whole singing patriotic songs on the capitol steps. We came together as a country and patriotism was at an all-time high. Today, Sept 11th, I will always remember all those who died that day and will continue to pray for the families that have been left behind. I can only imagine the pain they felt that day and are still feeling today as they too reflect upon that horrific day.

With all of that said, my business suffered greatly for about a month as I am sure countless others did. I know that this is not that long of a timeframe, but it was long enough to make me wonder. My prayers were intense and my worry was real. I remember crying out to God asking for wisdom, seeking what to do next. Asking God how do I pay my employees and overhead?  My business wasn’t that big at the time. I did not have reserves or savings, but I did have Jesus. I knew some way somehow we would get through this. I knew that God was near and that I could trust Him completely.

So one morning out of the blue we got a call from a major convenience store, with many locations in our area, asking if we had American Flags for sale. So I called one of my vendors and ordered as many as they had in stock.  We delivered them to all of their store locations and they sold out of those flags as quick as they put them on the shelf. Then they had called asked for more of those American Flags. My vendor didn’t have any more, so we had to place a back order for the client. Eventually, we got more and shipped them out again to all of our clients store locations.  My God supplied all of our needs and He proved to me that day, He will never leave me nor forsake me.  You see, my company is a print mail house; we were never a flag providing company, on the contrary far from it.  Yes, from time to time we ordered giveaways to correspond with some of our direct mail campaigns, in order to help bring in more business for some of our clients. God took an out of the ordinary item such as a flag, and used it to help us get through a very trying time.

That brings to mind Romans 8:28 which says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. My God is a good God and all who believe in Him know that He loves His children. He takes care of us, forgives us, provides for us and restores in us a right spirit. He is everything that is opposite of the evil that we witnessed that day. Unfortunately, that evil we witnessed back then is still relevant in our nation today.  My twitter account is filled with vicious attacks upon people and hate speech is spreading at an all-time high. Our nation is divided politically and out of control, which is led by determined politicians attacking each other.

This level of hostility is spreading amongst our nation like a wild fire and lives are being destroyed all because we feel we have a right to express ourselves in this manner. Love and forgiveness seem to be irrelevant tools that have been cast into the depths of the ocean.  Greed, lust and pride seem to be more prevalent. We want what we want and if we don’t get what we want, we throw tantrums and it doesn’t matter whom we throw under the bus to get it. We say things filled with hate, anger and bitterness without even thinking twice about it.

James 3:5-6 says “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

This verse brings to light the very situation that is happening in our nation today! Words of hate are being spoken and it is setting everything on fire. Makes you wonder if there could ever be a reversal to how bad things currently are. Truthfully, I do not believe we can reverse the evil happening in our nation now outside of a civil war happening, unless God is involved. I am certain however, that God can heal our land and make all things new. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If people would humble themselves and repent of their sins, and turn to God, then and only then can we as a nation be healed of this evil that is taking place among us. I pray that this 9/11 be a reminder to all of us that evil still exist and it’s out of control, its raging like a wild fire. Sin seeks to destroy us and if we let it control us, Satan will win. But there is also good everywhere and every time we choose to elevate others above ourselves, we are doing God’s work. Every time we choose to see others the way Christ sees them, by biting our tongues and only saying that which is good and from above, we are doing God’s work. We can then begin to heal, but it starts with us. We as a nation are made up of individuals under God and this nation can be healed if we as individuals repent of our ways and surrender all to Christ. Do we choose to serve self and continue to fan the flame of destruction, or do we choose to surrender to Jesus and let the healing process begin? I choose Jesus and I hope you do as well.

I leave us with Joshua 24: 14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

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