Dear Friends of the Father’s Love Int’l Ministries,
With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas and New Years 2020 in front of us, the time to tell you how grateful I am for you is NOW! Can you believe we are only one month away from a new decade? We are not just entering a new season, both physically and spiritually, but we are entering a new era!
I pray you find time to seek the Lord between now and the first of the year. He has new assignments and direction for many of us and our part is to be prepared. We want to be able to say “YES, ABBA!” when He calls. I will be sharing more in the days to come, but in the meantime, be ready!
A friend recently asked this thought-provoking question, and as I read it, I thought of when the attacks happened here in the USA on 9-11-01. Churches far and wide were flooded with people seeking answers, but within a month, many of those seeking them had left. Why? There was little preparation for such an event, few answers were found to important questions, and sadly, in too many cases the faithful became known as the faithless.
We, as the Body of Christ, need to know why we believe what we believe and be able to rightly divide truth from error. If we just hear and then parrot what we've heard without true understanding, we will not have the roots within ourselves to be able to endure the heat of tribulation or persecution when it arises. We will wither back and cause others to stumble with us because the word of God has not taken root in our hearts.
We must get our heads around this because it is also reflected in the parable of the 10 sleeping virgins in Matthew 25. Five were wise and did whatever it took to procure extra oil. The other five were foolish. They did not take the time or use their resources to make sure they had enough oil while they waited for the bridegroom's return. They assumed he would come before their oil ran out; however, they sadly learned too late that their thinking was flawed. Jesus stated the door was shut and they were not allowed to enter the wedding! Think about this – the virgins had kept themselves pure, and not once but twice they called Him, "Lord!" Yet Jesus stated that they were unknown to the bridegroom. Their presumption left them out in the dark!
It is my hope that we are intimately known by Jesus and do whatever it takes to procure the oil. We need to understand that in order to have the oil, we must have His Holy Spirit. He is the oil! How we use our time and resources is paramount in these days so that we can be readied for the harvest, the huge harvest that we have heard about for a long time. Let us not lose heart now!
As Peter wrote this instruction to the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia, and I paraphrase:
Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. Do so with meekness, being courteous and respectful to the hearer even if they accuse you of evil.
Keep in mind, it is your heavenly Father that you are representing. He has called you to reflect His light and love to the influx of new converts and returning prodigals. God’s light requires oil and oil requires time, patience, and effort to procure, but it is worth it! Will you be ready for the influx of new believers?
Jewels from Judy: Strike the Ground and Blow the Shofar!
Judy A Bauman
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV
The other day I read a word by Lana Vawser about striking the ground, and I've been praying about what it means, why to do it, and what exactly the Lord wanted me to use if I were to strike the ground. Honestly, I kept thinking to hit the ground with my shofar (ram’s horn), but also knew I needed to strike the ground hard and didn’t want to break my cherished instrument! Something didn’t seem right, and I wasn’t going to go forward with this action until I had clarity.
This morning I found myself praying about this again, and in my mind’s eye, I saw a bristle brush I had put on an extension handle. I constructed it specifically to clean off a hard to reach section of my roof where leaves get caught. I got this tool and struck the floor in my living room hard three times with it. It was interesting that I was to use this instrument because it isn't something I would have considered; but then again, God's ways are not our ways!
After I struck the floor, the Lord had me take my shofar and then blow it three times in my house and declare His will over my family and bloodline, and then come against the antichrist spirit that is trying to win the minds of the next generation. He had me pray against the things that have drawn them into the enemy’s lair and prayed that those sins and distractions drawing people away from God’s purposes to become distasteful and uninteresting to them. I prayed that loved ones who have refused to follow Jesus would lose interest in those things that have, by their own freewill, held them captive. I prayed for encounters with God that would change everything! I prayed for a deeper revelation of the Father’s love for us and that we would serve him with a greater sense of purpose and direction. I am a novice at blowing the shofar, so I am never sure how it is going to sound. Each time I blew the shofar it seemed high-pitched and there was a desperation in its sound – like that of an animal caught in a trap.
Then the Lord had me go outside and blow the shofar three times. The first was a high sound, like in the house, but the next two were low and long. It sounded like mournful moaning for the prodigals to come home.
As I walked inside, I saw the bristle brush and thought about how aggressive it is for cleaning. This brush is not one you would ever use on floors but on concrete or decking. I thought of David asking the Lord to purge (purify) him with hyssop and he would be clean. This plant has medicinal properties and was also used in ceremonial cleansing. Interestingly, hyssop is what the Lord instructed Moses to dip in the Passover blood and apply to the lintel and doorposts! (See Exodus 12:21-23)
The extension rod reminded me of God’s far-reaching mercy and how He extends His love and grace when we stray. He is so good to listen for us, even if it is a moan from a far distance! Where can we go from Your Spirit, Lord? Thank You, Abba Father!
The Shofar is the trumpet referenced throughout Scripture and is used in many Hebraic ceremonies. Consider these historical accounts shared in the Bible about the shofar. After the trumpet was blasted long and loud, Moses spoke, and God answered with voice (Exodus 19:19). The Day of Atonement is followed by and celebrated with The Feast of Trumpets. When the priests blew the ram’s horns in Joshua 6 as instructed, the people shouted, and the walls of Jericho fell to the ground! I love the story in Judges 7 where the Lord had Gideon’s army use it to confuse the enemy (whose number was so vast they are described as being like locust and their camels being like sand on the seashore)! God brought victory through the unlikely instrument! The shofar is used to signal warning or to advance in war, declare victory, worship God, and no doubt many more things. The amazing thing is what God does in the enemy’s camp with what may seem a silly thing. Strike the ground, blow the shofar was my directive this morning and I share it with you because there is something He will do with it for you that is beyond me. His ways are not our ways! Selah!
Photo Credit: Sue Minns taken of Haddon Minns blowing his shofar over Israel.
This morning I felt an urgency to release this encounter now because of the DAY AND HOUR we are IN!!! Awaken to the Revealing is a chapter in my first book, Jewels from the River.
Awaken to the Revealing!
In this vision, Jesus revealed Himself as the Captain of the heavenly hosts. I had such an overwhelming and intense sense of awe as I watched His interaction with His angels. He was commanding and powerful yet loving and respectful in all His mannerisms. As I sat journaling what I saw, I noticed there were no men or women in the huge number of troops – only angels. Some were dressed in armor, some wore diplomatic attire, others casual clothing, but they were all being given their orders for the day. The Lord lifted His voice to address the garrison and spoke in a language I didn’t know, yet understood what He was saying.
“This day marks a new day in the days of creation. Many cry out for My return, but the time is not yet. There is a fullness that must come to My own. They must be awakened. They are sleepy as if drugged – and drugged they are! They are drugged by the media. They are drugged by entertainment. They are hypnotized by the world’s governmental issues. They slumber because their hearts have grown weak from the continual diet of fear fed them.
“I Am sending you out in force to roust up the saints of God, My chosen and elect. I Am decreeing this day a mandate to call, call, call, beckon, beckon, beckon the sons of God – both male and female – to awaken to the revealing. Shake them out of their deep sleep and cause them to ARISE!
“Give heed to My orders and follow My voice and we will witness the great move you have heard of from old. Creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into freedom of the glory of the children of God. Cause them to awaken to the groaning that is deep within them for the adoption. Tell them: Your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is seen upon you! Yes, the light will shine brightly through even in the dimmest of lights because of the dark days that are upon them.”
The angels exuberantly cheer the Lord and worship Him. The air is electric, and I cannot help but stand and cheer with them in praise to the King of kings! He is glorious and marvelous – excellent in all His ways!
Then they individually come and stand in front of Jesus and salute Him. Each salute is unique and speaks of other missions and victories completed with the Lord. The angels show great respect and are full of awe, adoration, dedication and obedience of heart. Jesus hands each angel a scroll which holds their specific assignments and orders. They bow and depart. When they leave, these dedicated ones leave so fast I cannot tell if they fly, run or just disappear. In this multitude one would think this process would take too much time because of the sense of urgency in the Lord’s voice, but then I realize that God is Omnipresent. He is not in a hurry because in Him is the fullness of time!
The Beloved turns toward me. All the angels have gone, except for the ones that stand behind me. They each step forward salute Jesus and He hands each of them a scroll. They bow and then return to stand behind me. This shocks me because I didn’t know they were there! But then Jesus turns His gaze toward me and looks me in the eye. Everything else fades away and I feel my knees start to buckle. One of the angels touches my back and it gives me strength to stand. Looking at me Jesus says, “Be excited, dear one! The days you live in are full of promises fulfilled. Many have sought your day and never saw it. Tell My Church to pull their hearts away from their own worldly pursuits that keep them from My table of blessing. They must seek My face and there they will find their daily bread. There they will be sustained. There is where My kingdom will give them life and life more abundantly! Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
*Roust=to make somebody get up, make a move, or take action, especially abruptly or roughly
Scriptures to ponder:
Romans 8:14, 18-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10, Ephesians 5:14-17; Isaiah 60:1-2; Hebrews 11:39-40; Matthew 6:33; Mark 4:18-19; Psalm 27:8; Revelation 4:11; 19:16; Matthew 6:11, 19-21, 24; John 10:10; Isaiah 9:6-7; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:37-39; Philippians 4:4-9; Psalm 46
The Hebraic calendar was not something I thought about until a few years ago; however, learning more about it has enriched my Biblical understanding and insight of God’s appointed times and seasons. The Lord has never chastised me for not knowing Jewish holidays, nor is He dogmatic in my following them. I’m sharing what I have learned about this season because it’s brought me joy, so please keep that in mind as you read this post!
I began exploring the Hebraic calendar because of a dream I had around 2005. This graphic dream had eight separate and intense segments to it, but one part put a question mark in my mind as to whether God uses a different timetable than we do. I didn’t investigate the Jewish calendar right away because the interpretation of the dream was so complicated.
In one segment, three grandfather clocks were highlighted. They were in an old farmhouse that was packed full of items like what you would see in a consignment shop or a secondhand store. When people heard the clock chime, they thought it was the more modern one that, interestingly, had occultic symbols all around the face of it. It disturbed me that they seemed in awe of that clock, not only because of the symbols on it, but because it didn’t actually keep time! The second one was made of a copper alloy that had turned green. It only worked part of the time and needed a key to wind it. Even though I found the key and wound it, I knew it needed to be reset. Again, I heard the chime ring out and looked behind the two tall clocks. This is when I realized this shorter one was chiming and was the only one that kept accurate time. The Lord let me know this beautiful, expertly made, hand carved, wooden grandfather clock was His!
Each year since about 2007, the Lord has brought more understanding of His epochs (appointed times/eras) and I really appreciate the patience He has shown me. I have some amazing testimonies about things He has done to put me in the middle of them! (Like sending me to Uganda to teach them about Rosh Hashanah in 2009, to Israel for Passover 2011, then back again 5 years later in the midst of Sukkot…He is AMAZING!) Looking at the Judaism 101 website, I see there is much more to learn.
As we enter this New 5780 Year, Rosh Hashanah, on the Hebraic calendar, (sunset Sept 29 to nightfall Oct 1, 2019) it is my hope that you spend time seeking the Lord. Remember, the 10 Days of Awe (Ending with Yom Kippur sunset Oct 8 to Nightfall Oct 9, 2019), is a time to be reconciled to God and man. It is a time of introspection to reflect on the past year and judge your own actions, thoughts and intentions. It is a time to be genuine in repentance and make plans to better your relationships.
I pray you seek the Father during these “10 Days of Awe” and that you are truly AWED by Him!
We are entering a very holy Hebraic season, and the Father is extending an invitation for us to take the Lord’s Supper and commune with Him. As Christians, we are not required to observe the Jewish custom of Rosh Hashanah, (the Head of the New Year 5780) or the 10 Days of Awe that lead into Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement); however, I have experienced great spiritual breakthroughs and encounters with the Lord during this time in past years. As we set ourselves apart during this time of reflection and reconciliation, the Father seeks to enrich our personal and corporate fellowship with Him. It is also a time to examine our personal relationships and dealings at home, work, and in our community, and right any wrongs. It is a holy time to allow God’s Spirit to reveal those things that need healing (spirit, soul, and body).
Many of us were raised that only allowed clergy to administer the elements of Holy Communion, but that is not a restriction the Lord puts on us. God always welcomes our coming to Him. There are no hoops to jump through, no special songs that must be sung first, or sermons that must be preached. I do recommend a time of reflection and honesty with yourself and that you examine your standing with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Bring to Him all those things you know are sin, as He is QUICK to forgive. He is not waiting impatiently, nor is He angry. The Father wants you to come and be cleansed in His love. He is a good God, our Everlasting Father, and our Ever-present Help in times of trouble, He’s our Healer, Friend, and Shepherd. I could spend the rest of this post writing His attributes and names! He’s Wonderful and tells us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
It is my hope that this letter encourages you to find time to get with God and take the Lord’s Supper (early morning is often the best, but for some, evening or before bed is more practical). It helps to read the Scriptures that teach us about this practice (Matt 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor 11:23-32). All you need to do is prepare bread/cracker and either juice/wine, and sit with Him. The Lord is going to surround you as you do this, and I believe you will receive a breakthrough for healing, deliverance, calling, and purpose.
If you have had difficulty hearing from the Lord, don’t know what direction He is calling you to take, or need a breakthrough in a specific area of deliverance or healing, I believe the Lord is going to meet you in a very special way as you set apart time for Him. I always recommend having a journal so you can write what comes to your heart during this time. You will be surprised later when you reread it just how much the Holy Spirit spoke to you, but you have to write it down.
L'shanah tovah (May you be sealed for the New Year),
In the Father’s love,
Judy A Bauman
Rosh Hashanah, (the Head of the New Year starts September 29, 2019 at sundown)
Yom Kippur (October 8th at sunset to the 9th at nightfall for 2019).
The Hebraic calendar is lunar, so the dates change from year to year.
Mission Update: Sharing Fruit from the 7M Training in D.C.
As I shared last month, the Lord prompted me to attend a training conference in D.C., and before I go any further, I want to thank each of you that sowed into the trip. It has meant a lot to me. I also want to thank those who prayed while I traveled. It was power-packed, and truly a life-changing weekend with speakers Dr. Lance and Annabelle Wallnau (7M), Mario Murillo, David Harris Jr., John Graves (Vision America), and Ohio’s former Congressman, Bob McEwen. Before each session, Steve Swanson singlehandedly led worship.
It’s taken me awhile to write you this update because I have been debriefing and processing the information. It’s been like trying to digest an elephant! There’s so much to share, but I want to keep this simple. With that said, let me give you a snippet of what each of these speakers shared and my thoughts on the matter.
Lance Wallnau spoke on several topics, but mostly how the Body of Christ can walk AS ONE to make great change. (Something intensely powerful happened when he had us say, “AS ONE” in unity!) We walk AS ONE by knowing our calling, developing our strengths, and helping others to do the same. We need to know why we believe what we do so that we can defend our beliefs. Standing by and watching our rights erode the way they have is unacceptable!
In the past, I’ve shared a vision I had of God’s people (the Ekklesia) arising in unity, AS ONE, walking boldly throughout the earth. We must have the mind of Christ, which was in line with what Lance and the others taught at this monumental conference. I feel as though a heavy veil has been lifted off me, and I have clearer vision and direction! Something he said keeps ringing in my ears and that is to prophesy to nations. This is a direction the Lord is shifting me to by moving my focus to impact media.
Annabelle shared her heart for single parents and their children.
One of her stories reminded me of when my supporters chipped in and we bought triple decker bunkbeds for orphans in a Ugandan school. One boy interviewed on a return trip commented with a cheeky grin, “We used to sleep on the dirt floor, but now we sleep like kings and queens in beds!” Annabelle does this closer to home and is something to consider.
Mario Murillo, who is a prolific blogger, really blessed me when addressed us saying, “God is not going to let America go without a fight! He is looking for us to obey His voice.” Mario and his wife, Mechelle, have a street ministry that even the boldest of us would fear to tread. They obviously have some serious angels around them! I want to encourage you to sign up for his posts, as he has powerful insight!
My take, we must learn how to HEAR GOD and OBEY HIM. Something the Lord has made clear during this time is that I am to write and teach others how to discern the voice of the Lord. We only need to read 1 Sam 3:4-9 to know it doesn’t come naturally.
David Harris Jr. shared his testimony and the importance of our praying in the Spirit to receive insight. Interestingly, as I walked to the networking luncheon afterward, I met a young man involved in politics in DC. He explained his field, but I was at a loss as to how this could be a divine appointment for either of us – until I learned he had never prayed in the Spirit! I told him that I was completely confident that he would receive his prayer language before he got up from the table. As it happened, we sat across from David Harris Jr., and I shared with him something Tim Sheets teaches, and that is when we pray in the Spirit it is, “GOD’S NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE” language! I asked David to agree with me and pray for the young man. I leaned over and told the politically ambitious, and well-educated seeker that receiving his prayer language was going to be the easiest thing he’s ever done. Right then after I gave him a bit of instruction, he began praying in the Spirit! YAY GOD! Then David spoke to the entire room of about 150 people, and he brought up our conversation. He asked if anyone there wanted prayer for this gift, and as it turned out there were quite a few others that did! Saints around each table were happy to pray with them. It was truly a blessing to see so many receive this beautiful gift from the Holy Spirit, and all while relaxed at lunch! As it turned out, two at my table received their prayer language! Don’t you love how God does that?
John Graves with Vision America may not have spoken long, but some statistics he shared have deeply impacted me. Vision America is a movement aimed at sparking spiritual awakening that will engage, mobilize, and empower churches, their pastors and their congregations to fulfill civic responsibility with the goal that our nation turns in prayerful submission to the Lordship of Christ.
Again, this speaks to me about prophesying to nations. I pray to wake the sleeping church to ARISE, SHINE! Jesus taught we are to “do business” (occupy) the earth until His return. If we will unite AS ONE and shine God’s light into the darkness, there is no way our Christian rights can be stripped from us. The question is, will we?
Bob McEwen, a pro-family/free market advocate, is an excellent communicator and gave a powerful presentation on the facts of the founding of the United States of America. I encourage you to do a quick google search and investigate what he teaches, as well as these other speakers. They will give you ammunition to arm yourself with the facts!
There has been a spiritual shift, and I would imagine you have sensed it, or at least heard ministers from different streams writing and speaking about it too. I believe we are not just entering a new spiritual season, but we have entered a new Kingdom Era. We are in a transformational time in the kingdom of God, and He is looking for those who see the importance of investing in extra oil. We are going to need it! The foolish virgins called Jesus “Lord” but didn’t think they needed to invest their time, energy, or resources to buy extra oil for their lamps. As a result, they were locked out of the kingdom. Jesus went as far as to say that He didn’t know them! This is a serious warning from Scripture.
I pray we take and honest look at our involvement with family, business, what we listen to/are involved with in the arts and entertainment industry, what we read, hear, and share through media, learn in our ongoing education, and how we deal with political issues and matters of our faith in Christ.
Please feel free to write me; I would love to hear any comments or questions you have.
This is a tribute to Nina, who was 15 months at the time of her daddy’s untimely death, and to her mother Evan. This is the story of how our lives intersected at an unforgettable time.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, I went to NYC to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center (FAC):
The FAC had six different security points where everyone's belongings were searched, and identification was confirmed. I reached the final checkpoint which was located right outside the front door; they checked for my name on the volunteer list, but it wasn't there! I was stunned. They could not grant me access even though I knew the name of the supervisor and the organization where I had been asked to work. My beseeching only resulted in attracting the attention of a stalwart marine who discreetly tapped his sidearm making it clear to me that anyone who was there without the proper credentials would have to leave immediately. As I turned to walk away, I prayed. I couldn't believe I was turned away at the final checkpoint and didn’t know what to do but comply. Just then I looked up and saw a police officer walking toward me. Candidly I voiced what I was thinking, "Can you believe I came all the way from Atlanta to help and got turned away?" He thoughtfully asked what I was doing there and why I was trying to get into the FAC, so I briefly explained my situation. When he heard the name of the lady who was to be my supervisor, he enthusiastically replied, "Oh, I know her! I will go in and see if I can get her to get you on the list. Wait here." The officer re-emerged a few minutes later with a woman in tow and waved for me to come back up to the final checkpoint. Within a few minutes I was welcomed into the FAC! I was so excited and thankful to see how quickly God had worked on my behalf!
Once inside, the demeanor of the formidable marine surprisingly morphed into a very hospitable young man with an appreciation for lively humor. I was briefly shown around by the lady who vouched for me. The FAC was located in a huge convention center and every conceivable type of assistance had been set-up to help the victims. Services ranging from insurance to FEMA, mental, emotional and spiritual counseling centers, medical services, childcare, auto services, employment centers, and so much more. Each booth was staffed to help the victims and their families. I had never seen anything like this highly organized facility. The sheer magnitude of it all was overwhelming. On all the walls and at the tables, were cards, letters and flowers which people from all around the world had sent for the families. There were whole murals that children had colored or painted, and they were all on display. Free telephones, computer services, television, couches and chairs had been provided for the families use and comfort. Three hot meals were served daily, but there was always food available for them.
Food and drinks were also supplied for the police, firefighters, emergency response teams, and for all the workers and volunteers there. A separate area for these servants of the people had been set up where they could eat, talk to each other, and make personal calls, check emails and rest in private away from everyone else.
At this point it had already been 11 days since the attacks and tension was very high inside the facility where the families were concerned. Even though there was a great deal of publicity about all the money that had been pouring in from around the world to help them, it had yet to be released for us to distribute to the families of victims. All the workers and volunteers were acutely sensitive to the fragile state of the victims and their families, but our hands were tied. Normally, benefit money would only be given to injured victims or to the families of the confirmed deceased; however, the attacks did not produce a lot of injured victims or bodies. Without bodies to identify, death certificates could not be issued, and this certificate was what was required to get benefit monies.
Because of the special circumstances, an emergency meeting was held by the people in charge to determine the criteria for giving out financial aid. This was to include people who had directly lost their housing or jobs at Ground Zero. They also had to draft the necessary forms for us to fill out with the families. It was decided that a death certificate could be issued if a family member had proof that their loved one was in the WTC; though some distraught family members felt that if they did this they were, in effect, giving up on ever finding their loved one alive. If they would not fill out the form, there was nothing we could do to help them – other than offer the comforts of the FAC.
Since I had little else to do while the forms were being drawn up, it seemed prudent to get acquainted with the other services available. As I walked around, I came face-to-face with Michael Beckett. I was astonished! We had only met two nights before at Faith Exchange Fellowship where he had been invited by Pastor Dan Stratton to address the congregation. I had spoken with him briefly after the service to thank him for his encouraging and insightful message. Michael was a chaplain with Christian Disaster Response (CDR) and they had a booth in the FAC. Seeing someone I knew in this giant hall in New York City was astonishing to me! We visited for some time, and he was tremendously helpful in coaching me as to what to expect while working there as well as when I returned home. I learned that he and his wife had worked diligently to serve victims who have suffered disasters and to prepare the church to be ready to minister to hurting people in times of crisis.
When we received news that the funds were released, the team made a game plan and quickly went to work. Many people qualified for assistance and I was able to allocate desperately needed finances to some of them. They were all grateful for the help, as was evident by the change of their countenance. I was honored to release funds to these heartbroken people; however, my world was about to be rocked in a very personal way. My supervisor asked if I would be willing to fill out a death certificate, and she assured me that she would help if I needed it. I had been given no instruction how to do this, but everyone who had been previously trained to fill out this legal document was unavailable. She said it was this woman’s third trip to the FAC and hated for her to wait. I prayed asking the Lord to help me, and then told her I would do it. She gave me a quick lesson then called the young widow.
A tall, young, blond woman came with her mother. I invited them to sit at the table with me and explained I was a volunteer. I reassured them that we were going to get through the necessary paperwork together and get her the help she needed. They were both thankful for my assistance. They explained that they had come to the FAC several times, but didn’t have the required paperwork to fill out a death certificate. She told me that her husband was a carpenter who had been dispatched to install furniture on the 82nd floor of the #2 WTC South Tower that fateful morning. For days she had waited by the phone hoping to hear from him. He never called. It was clear she had gotten very little sleep since the tower's collapse on September 11th. She held the work order from her husband's employer along with all the other documentation she needed. The young woman and her husband had a 15-month-old daughter who was at the FAC in the daycare area with her grandpa. The young widow's parents had accompanied her there, but her dad had graciously offered to sit with the baby. The woman's mother sat at the table with us in a daze and offered help when she could but was really in a state of shock. I know she would have done anything to take away her daughter's grief, but it was clear that she herself was having difficulty coping.
After we finished the very difficult and distressing job of filling out the mountain of paperwork, I was able to hand her a check. What had seemed so wonderful earlier for those who had lost their jobs and housing, now seemed insignificant in the looming shadow of her loss. Her husband was gone. As I handed her that check, it seemed as though I was pouring an ounce of kindness in an ocean of grief. I apologized for not being able to do more; fortunately, the financial assistance did serve to encourage the young widow. She was clearly grateful.
When she turned to leave, she looked back at me and asked if I would like to meet her baby daughter. Her mother perked up at my invitation to see her granddaughter, and before I had time to really consider what this meant, I had already answered with an enthusiastic, "Yes, I'd love to meet her." As we sojourned through the FAC to where the daycare was located, I knew I was about to see a little girl whose daddy was just declared deceased. I couldn’t help but think of her daughter's future – what did all this mean for her? Thoughts of this woman and her fatherless child began to flood my mind and tragedy of it overwhelmed me. Not only did this woman, who I had been sitting with face-to-face for nearly two hours, have a long road of heartache to navigate, but I knew this little child had a difficult future ahead of her. It was not just about her father dying - though that was rough enough in its own right – it was that she would have to face the whirlwind of discussions and the political debates and leveraging that surrounded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A myriad of scenarios came to my mind, one thing was for certain - she would have to live her life without her daddy. He too would not see her grow up, nor would he be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. All their birthday parties would be missing one important guest. The same man whose death certificate I had just filled out. Grief was hitting me in waves and the closer we came to the little girl the more acutely aware I was that I really did not want to see her! I was unsure if I could trust my emotions at that point. I was feeling the anguish of this young widow's situation in a profound way. She interrupted my thoughts when she called out to an older gentleman. He had a small child on his knee playing with his fingers. The man turned and looked very relieved to see his daughter and wife standing there. They introduced me and he happily lifted the baby girl for me to see. She was adorable. She was clueless as to what this moment of time meant for her life. I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest it hurt so badly for them. As they were leaving, I could hardly talk but told them I would be praying for them. They thanked me and we said our goodbyes. On the outside I may have looked all right, but inside I was shaken to my core.
While at the FAC I filled out many forms to help people who had lost income, property or housing, but that was the only death certificate I filled out. Time has not erased the face of that young widow or her little girl from my memory, nor will their names leave me. I see that as the hand of God. If I had filled out a lot of death certificates, maybe their stories would have begun to run together and the details blur. This family's story is but one in thousands, yet in my heart this young widow and her fatherless daughter will not be overshadowed by the vastness of it all. Rest in peace Mauricio.
Do You Remember Where You Were On This Date 18 Years Ago?
Judy A Bauman
It was 18 years ago today that I was awoke by a phone call from one of the most vivid and horrific dreams I've ever had. It was of being an eyewitness to a terrible accident of a tanker truck. I can still see the man's face as his truck caught fire and smashed into a gas station! In the dream, I ran across the street to the 4th house (the first three had no chance) and pounded on the door and yelled for them to get out of the house. That's when I woke up to the phone ringing. A very good friend was calling me to chat (she had not turned on the news that day). I didn't know my husband had been trying to call the whole hour we talked. When he finally got through, he said, "Our country is under attack! Turn on the news!" He told me two planes had hit the WTC and I was thinking small airplane not jets. Like everyone else, I watched in complete shock and dismay!
After seeing the disturbing news, I called the high school my children attended and asked if I could come get them. From there we went to church where people had spontaneously gathered. That was where the Lord let me know there were martyrs on the unaccounted-for plane. I fell to the floor and wept. Once I could get back up, I told the others there and we prayed for their families because I knew they had already died.
I watched the news continually for 2 more days and saw something they Lord made clear. I knew I needed to get to NYC but had no clue how or what I would do once I got there. Though my husband was not happy with the prospect, the Lord opened the doors for me to help at the Family Assistance Center and dorm housing was provided. 11 days later, on September 22, 2001, I found myself walking around Ground Zero. The fires were still burning... 😢
Whose Perspective is Right? The Lesson of the Osprey and the Heron
Judy A Bauman
Pictured here are two beautiful birds. While they are clearly not the same species, they both eat fish so both live near water. One is an Osprey (aka Fish Eagle) and the other is a Great Blue Heron.
Last week, my husband and I were taking our little pontoon boat out on the lake, when I spotted an Osprey high in the trees. It really surprised me because I had never seen one in that vicinity.
My husband was navigating out into the lake when excitedly I said, “Look, Jeff! There’s an Osprey!” As I readied my camera for a shot of the stately bird, he corrected me saying, “That’s not an Osprey; it’s a Blue Heron!”
I said, “Jeff, I have it in focus in my viewfinder, and I am telling you, it’s an Osprey!” After we went back and forth a couple of times as to who was right, I got a clear photo and showed it to him. He said, “Oh! You’re looking up in the trees; I was looking at the shoreline.” He pointed and said, “Do you see the Blue Heron?” I looked where he was pointing, and saw it seeking a meal in the same waters as the Osprey.
I realized that this was an important lesson because often we know we are right, so we believe the other person is wrong; however, in this case, we were both right. We rightly identified what we were looking at but didn’t realize we were looking at different things.
Maybe you are trying to relate something to someone, but you are both looking from different perspectives or at different subjects. Sometimes we need to stop and make sure we see what the other is looking at, and conversely, they need to stop and look from our perspective. Just like Jeff and I correctly identified what we saw, yet we were not in agreement because we weren’t looking at the same thing.
This illustrates that we need to listen to hear and look to see. One thing I know is if I ask the Lord to show me what is going on from His perspective, I have a much better chance of understanding the circumstance.
May we hear what the Spirit is saying through this little life lesson.