Jewels From Judy
Sunday, September 11 2011
This short story is a testimony of the Father’s love after 9/11/01
Will We Remember?
Walking through the ash and debris near “Ground Zero” in New York City (NYC), I clearly remember, and will never forget, the surreal magnitude of the scene. On September 21, 2001, I had flown in to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center, but a local Christian woman offered to first accompany me to the site of the World Trade Center (WTC). As we emerged from the depths of the subway into Lower Manhattan, a horrible stench met us. Pungent smoke permeated the atmosphere from the fire, which had been burning since the attacks. Everything was covered in a thick layer of white ash. Stores stood motionless; their merchandise looked more like monuments than everyday goods. A cacophony of wailing sirens and deep growls from the machinery echoed off the city walls. The nation looked on as frantic workers cleared the wreckage searching for survivors.
Under the safety of a temporary corridor, the throng moved like one giant body. It collectively came to a halt as people gasped at the horrendous panorama of the WTC’s skeletal remains. Some observers had to steady themselves. Many wept. Shocked by the magnitude of it, the ability to hear, think, or feel had left us. All we could do was look at the ruins and destruction set before us, then at each other with tears of disbelief.
Several city blocks away from the daunting work at Ground Zero, some of Lower Manhattan was open to the public. My guide pointed out the building where her church had been located. It, along with many of the buildings at Ground Zero, had destabilized foundations. Authorities were determining whether repairs were possible, or if the structures around the WTC would need demolishing. We stopped to pray for her church and the surrounding buildings. When we finished praying, we looked up and were shocked to find no one else was in the vicinity! It was eerie. The surrounding buildings sheltered us from the noise, causing “the City that never sleeps” to be unnervingly quiet! In a hushed whisper, my companion revealed she was a native of NYC and had never experienced such deafening silence.
We slowly walked, block after block, taking in all we saw. What we witnessed in this deserted area left its mark on my soul. Many vehicles sat abandoned in the streets, while others in parking garages had anomalous objects, like office equipment and pieces of furniture, surrounding them. One car was so violently jolted out of its parking spot; it hung outside the third story of the five-story garage. Sorrow hit our hearts like a dagger when we realized the owners of some of the vehicles might not have survived. Shrouded with thick ash; the City was indeed in mourning. We did not touch anything, and even though we felt grief, the peace of God was tangible.
What I witnessed in the rubble of NYC reminded me of the overwhelming ruins of my own life before I asked Jesus to rescue me. For years, I rejected His help. He had been there holding out His hand, but I refused to take it. I knew I didn’t deserve God’s love, but He loved me anyway! Just as those in NYC carefully removed each bucket of debris from Ground Zero, so did the Redeemer of my soul remove the ash from my life.
Many people have asked me where my loving God was on 9/11. I can safely say He was in the same place He was when Jesus went to the cross. Nothing in our lives surprises God. He knows the cost of giving mankind the gift of freewill. Some use their freedom to hurt innocent people, as the terrorists did on 9/11; others, like the public servants of NYC, use it to help souls in need, even at the cost of their own lives. I pray you realize Jesus bought and paid for your sins with His own life. He chose to take your punishment. It is for the sake of freedom Christ set us free! All things are new when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. There was an outcry for us to remember 9/11. It would seem memories fade. The Good News is the Lord never forgets His love for us. Will we remember Him?
In the Father's love,
Judy A Bauman