SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 ~
I was up early that morning, welcoming another beautiful early Fall morning up at a Church retreat for Pastor's wives with two of my friends in charge of the retreat.
This was my third year helping to make this retreat a pleasure and restful two days for Pastor's wives. I was in charge of Hospitality and decorating the room as if the women were entering into a garden setting to come and enjoy tasty delights, both to the eyes and the tongue.
The past two years I had faithfully come and prepared the place, delighting that by doing this for the women, it helped me to get through the grief of my parent's passing. On Labor Day weekend 2000, my mother passed. My family and I were surprised that she had left us ,this being our first family member other than our Grand parents to go. The following year, the same weekend, we 4 children gathered together with my father, to help ease him through the first anniversary of my mother's passing.
We arose early that morning, as my sister and I would be returning home to our families. My brother was to drive us to the airport, thus leaving my father very happy he didn't have to take us down the mountain. We said our good night and promised that we would wake him for a cup of coffee before we left in the morning.
About an hour before we were to leave my sister went into the bedroom to waken him and found him gone.
We were utterly shocked!! How perfect an ending for us to have all been there together at his passing in his sleep.
Death is an interesting thing. Our body's either just give out over all the years of living and using it, or when Christ calls us home!
We cannot do anything about it but be found ready for the day.
Being found ready means that we have recognized that we all are sinners and confess our sins to Christ. For God sent Christ to take the punishment for our sins. He used Christ's Blood and our faith as means of saving us from His wrath.It is a simple thing to do,and yet the hardest. It's a pride thing. We are never alone. He is always there, and if you do not have a personal relationship with Him, He is touching you at this very moment, wooing you, He will never force His way into your life, You must Knock,Seek, Ask. It is a humbling thing. No one but you alone with our Saviour, with His out stretched arms, nail pierced hands waiting to embrace you. Love you, and comfort you.
The good things and good life that we do and live are not enough to put us right with God. No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap between God's moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance. Good deeds are just good deeds, they will not earn us eternal life. We will be saved only by trusting what God promises for us.
The door opens in, as you receive Him into your life and heart. He gives you peace that passes understanding. I know this by the testimony of my life and others I know who have suffered life's tragedies. It is amazing the peace that is found through the turmoil.
I found that peace those two years being God's servant to these precious women who live with
and share their precious men of God with their congregations.
I could not believe the comfort I had in serving others through my pain.
So, 2001 was the anniversary of my parent's passing, and here I was once again serving these precious Women.
The night before I was awoken by my name being called. I awoke abruptly from a sound sleep, thinking that my Mentor had called out and needed me. I found that I was the only one awake and thought that my name had been so clearly called. I knew that there was a reason I was awakened, and so I prayed. I didn't know why or who I was to pray for, but used the opportunity to do so.
I needed to be up and at the hospitality room at 5:30 and have the coffee going and ready for early risers. I rose at 5:00 and quickly pulled my clothing on and headded out to prepare the morning coffee and sweets for the early birds.
I prepared the room and sat down to talk with one of the senior Pastor's wife for a short time, and then excused myself to go get changed and ready for breakfast and the day.
As I walked down towards my room, I saw my Mentor walking out into the outside area calling for another Pastor's wife who was overseeing the retreat.
My first thought was that one of the elder women must have passed in the night. There was an odd despair in the sound of her voice. She directed me to go into the room and talk to the other friend about what was happening.
It was surreal. We happened to be the only room in our area that had a telephone and we had received a call informing us as to United Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center!
It was unfathomable! It was especially hard as we had no way to turn the television on to hear the news and see what was actually happening.
We had women from Los Angeles who had left their families, and were perhaps 2 hours away from them, not knowing if there would be an event in L.A.
We all quickly gathered in the sanctuary with a radio on and listened to the reports.
Pastor Don Long spoke and soothed us and released us to return to our families and homes.
Packing up as quickly as one can, listening to only a radio,made me feel as if I were a million miles away, and back 60 years, with no means of a visual.
Enya's song, 'Only Time' played on the radio as I raced home through the back country towards the city, and my family. Every time I hear this song I am reminded of those days, and the feelings that went along with them.
Hearts broken as we sat and watched the event play over and over , feeling the grief of others loss,and our country's loss, we lost our innocence. We were ravaged by the evil of hatred and of
We cannot recapture the innocence, we are a more sober people now because of walking through the fire. For a short moment everyone cared for their neighbor and reached out in understanding because we knew how each of us was feeling. There was a unity and a look up to the heavens and a call upon God our creator for help to get through this.
Where is that today, 8 years later? We were united because we are one people. One people under God.
Looking at my Bible the morning after, I was reading my daily passage: Ezekiel 33.
It talks about God appointing a "watchman". He appoints this"watchman" to let the people know what is coming and to be prepared,and sound the trumpet. If the "watchman" does alert the people, They are responsible for not being prepared. But if the "watchman" does not alert the people, the blame is to be upon him, because he has not done the duty that the "watchman" is responsible for. Make sense? We all expect for someone to warn us of impending danger or disaster. We look to science to alert us to tornadoes, hurricanes, and tidal waves!
This was and is an alert!
I was a believer at that time for 22 years, and I believe that this was a call for all of us to share and be prepared for the day that He will call us before His Throne, where He will open the books and to see if we confessed Him as LORD of our lives, or if we just made ourselves our own gods.
He gently calls all,who will show their strength in Him when He either calls you home or comes again. Because He does say,"Behold, yes I am coming soon."
I want to be found ready. how about you?
I would like to hear your coments.