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A vision popped into my head of a finger dipped in a pot of water and twirling. With each motion, ripples scattered in all directions. It seemed important to note how what began in the middle of the pot impacted everything in it. I had no doubt it was a message from God. I told my husband, Steve, that God was working in ways we didn’t yet see. It was September 10, 2001.
The morning of September 11 found my husband Steve and I sitting at the kitchen table discussing plans for the day. Steve said he had a meeting at 9:00. I turned to look at the clock. It was 8:45. I told Steve he should get going, but he said it was an approximate time not a firm one.
Once Steve left I prepared to get into the shower. Our infant son, DJ, became very restless. Every other day, he was content to lie on a blanket while I showered. But in tandem with the day I didn’t know I was about to have, DJ was being anything but normal. I turned on the tv intending to start a video for him.
The moment I flipped on the tv the burning North Tower filled the screen. DJ quieted. As a former EMT (emergency medical technician) my brain kicked to rescue mode. While I mentally calculated possible rescue scenarios, I saw a plane enter from the right. I sighed with a bit of relief thinking it was a rescue plane. When the plane flew into the other tower, I stood in stark disbelief. “It flew into the building. That plane just flew into the building.” I said the words aloud as if that would help my brain process them.
For the next 30 minutes, I stood rooted to a spot in the middle of my living room, staring at the tv. I left only to use the restroom. When I returned to the tv, it was a split screen; burning towers on the left, the burning Pentagon on the right. I immediately cried out. “What is happening, God?”
A response echoed back from my heart. “Pray.”
“I don’t even know how!” I yelled. But God’s response was that single word. Pray. Without any idea how to pray over a situation like this, I fell to my knees. With closed eyes, clasped hands, and tears rolling, I reiterated to God that I had no clue how to pray over such a catastrophe.
“Pray for my people I’m bringing out.” Though God’s voice was speaking inside me, His words were as clear as if spoken aloud. I began praying, and a vision appeared. I saw countless people being led by angels from a massive pile of rubble. The towers had yet to collapse.
I didn’t understand what was happening. I was scared, shocked and angry. But I knew that if God was with me in those moments, He would also be with many others. As personal stories emerged, many attributed God’s miraculous intervention with their survival.
As bad as 9/11 was it could have been worse. On an average day, approximately 50,000 people worked at the World Trade Center with another 140,000 visiting. That means nearly 200,000 lives were on the line in New York alone. The planes turned into weapons that day was only half full. The Pentagon was hit on the only side that had recently been reinforced. Had they hit any other area we would have likely lost more than the 125 lives we did. Then there are the heroes of United 93 who saved countless lives by forcing the crash in an empty field rather than a building.
Accompanying the statistics are the eyewitness accounts of angels. A police officer saw a ring of angels at the United 93 crash site. A man followed a voice to escape the Pentagon only to exit and realize there was no one in front of him. People told about being grabbed or pulled toward safety only to have the person vanish once they were safe. Many tell about feeling a presence prod them emotionally or give them physical strength when they wanted to give up. It was my vision incarnate; angels led people out.
On 9/11 God was where He is every day, with His children. As we reflect on 9/11 and mourn those lost, we should also find hope in the faithfulness of God. We don’t have the capacity to understand the ways of God or why we couldn’t avoid 9/11 altogether. But when from the rubble of tragedy a cross remained, we’re reminded that not even His own Son is too much for God to sacrifice for each of us.