Like most of you, this weekend I am remembering where I was and what I was doing the day terrorists flew American airplanes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
With my two teenagers in the car, I had backed out of the driveway to deliver them to school when I spotted my husband’s work truck barreling down the street toward me. I slowed, waiting for him, knowing this errand must be urgent since he rarely comes home during the day. When he told me what had happened that morning, I had trouble believing him. I drove on to school, thinking more information would surface, but as it turned out everyone I encountered either wasn’t talking or was too numb to discuss the morning’s events.
Three hours later I returned home and broke my rule about not turning on the television before five o’clock. What I saw on the screen dissolved me into a puddle of tears. I watched, over and over and over again, footage of the airplanes carrying innocent civilians as they crashed into the sides of New York’s two highest buildings. The horror of it was so unfathomable, I couldn’t do anything else that day. I just sat and cried.
I wasn’t born when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but as I watched the 9/11 attack on America, all I could think of was how horrible it must have been for my parents to listen to the 1941 account on their radios. They could only imagine the indescribable carnage of a raid that sank the American fleet.
My father was drafted immediately and my mother, not wanting to be left behind, married him at the courthouse, then followed him to basic training where she worked in the offices of the Army. As a child I had always thought their story romantic, but as I watched the destruction of the terrorists before me, I suddenly realized my parents had acted out of duty—a war was on, they needed to defend their country. They didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.
God’s Word, in both the Old and New Testaments, contains many references to evil, to the men who commit evil acts and to the need to resist it.
In Amos 5:14 we are told to “seek good and not evil.”
King David, in the 23rd Psalm, says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
In Romans 12:9 Paul writes, “Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.”
I remember thinking after 9/11 about what I could have done to prevent the evil deed. How did such calamity creep upon us without warning?
My doctor, who is a Christian, told me that he knew of people forewarned to pray that week. He described several incidents that kept people at home that morning, strange events that prevented them from going to work. Those stories never made the media and though He never got credit, I’m certain that God was at work, knowing the disaster was coming.
This weekend, in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I intend to pray. Rumor has it there is another terrorist threat on the horizon because of the day. But this time, I will not be caught unaware. I will join my petitions with those around me, asking God to protect the innocents who do not yet know they are in danger. I will pray against the evil that drives men to do such heinous acts. If enough of us pray, evil cannot get a grip. Will you join me?
Where two or more are gathered together, God’s Word says, there He will be among them. (Matthew 18:20). Our collective prayers serve as a mighty defense against those who would do harm. We all need to fall on our knees.