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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

Choose to remember

9/11/01 – I remember. I imagine just about everyone does. Where I was. What I was doing. What I felt. What I did.

It was a long 6 hours for me. I first heard about it on the radio at work and it became the topic of every call that came in – suddenly placing orders didn’t matter to people on the other end of the phone. They said they were glued to their TVs at work.

The planes fell like flies from the air. It was raining target practice, and it was like my family was the target. The plane that hit the Pentagon went right over my brother’s office at the Air Guard National Headquarters 2 blocks from the Pentagon. His work took him there regularly. Fear struck.

The plane that crashed in PA was 45 minutes from where my sister lives. Fear gripped.

And I had to sit and take door orders! Grace fell.

It was a long 6 hours until we heard any news about my brother. Mom was home watching trying to contact him. My sister tried. All the cell towers were down/circuits were busy. The skies fell silent as planes were grounded. They couldn’t get down fast enough! I went to the bathroom many times & just cried – tears of fear, and cried out to my God for ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.’ I just had to make it through the day. I called Melery (see July 10 post) to have her kids call the soccer team to cancel practice.

I raced home. There had been no word on Steve. Fear fought for my mind while trust held on.

Finally, word came. My sister Beth (the one in PA) had finally reached him. His first words – ‘No, I didn’t go to the Pentagon……today.’ He was at his ex-wife’s beauty salon with his daughter letting her know that Daddy was fine. Such is the life of a military family….stateside or abroad.

I sat and watched TV for the next 3 days, yet I had to carry on. Slowly the skies were again filled with planes – I remember what a victorious sound it was as the first plane flew overhead. It had been eerily silent for 3 days. And little by little life started returning.

But while I remember well the events of that day, I make a conscience choice each day – and we all need to – to CHOOSE TO REMEMBER that God is sovereign, He didn’t take a break & come back to his desk with a surprise problem. For whatever reasons He has allowed those events to happen.

I pray we turn our eyes to Him….and our hearts. Have we forgotten what it felt like? Have we bypassed the lessons of that day and returned to our busy lives? I fear we have. I pray we haven’t.

Most of all, I pray for an urgency in getting the gospel out. ‘Noone has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.’ (Oswald J. Smith) And I mean to those who have never heard…to the unreached peoples of the world.

The bottom line is that the words of the song are truth, and untll we each do something to get out of our comfort zones & reach across the boundaries of fear and start trusting & stepping out in faith, others may not hear. ‘JESUS is the answer for the world today.’ The world is waiting. Will you go? Are you WILLING to go? If not, pray ‘God, make me willing to be willing.’

Jesus IS the answer, and YOU are His chosen messenger. Where does He want to send you?

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