Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you on September 11th?

At midnight on the eleventh of September, I had just arrived in Orlando from Chicago, after seeing my brand new granddaughter, who was only eleven days old. I went to school, a little tired from all the travel and late arrival. Since I had been out I focused on school, my lesson plan, and organizing the classroom. The last thing on my mind was the news. My first period students came in and they settled into class. Then my principal came on the intercom and made a vague statement about the tragedy taking place but gave no details. I assumed she referred to a student who had been in an auto accident the week before, and perhaps had gotten worse.

Then second period arrived and the kids came in with all sorts of alarming stories. That a plane had crashed into the Twin Tower. That the Towers were on fire. I thought they were pulling my leg. They urged me to turn on the news. So I did. I stood there in disbelief. It couldn't be true. Who would do such a horrendous thing? Then to our utter shock, another plane flew into the next tower right there and then as we were watching. Then there was talk that one had crashed into the Pentagon. Before we knew it, people were jumping down to their death. That's where I said we needed to pause. What we were seeing was unreal, and the children were starting to get nervous, jittery, and on the verge of tears. Actually crying softly. I reminded them that if they had any faith, to call on it then. Some did, and prayed quietly.

I spoke to them about all sorts of things, had them write their observations and get it out of their system. Though I seemed calm on the outside I was starting to get frightened. Then an email came in from one of the pastors at Northland citing Psalm 91. It was medicine to my soul. It seemed like the longest hour. Then it was time to go. And they left, and I had a planning period. I went to the front office, and there was a huge amount of parents gathered clamoring for their children and all through the day, we heard rumors of air transportation being paralyzed, that Disney had also been a target, and our classes were interrupted by parents picking up their kids.

I vaguely remember speaking to my son Juan Daniel who was at Apopka High School. Thank God he was okay. I can't remember if I was able to talk to my daughters. But I knew Ana was with her little baby, and Rose was working, I think. I knew they were safe. But if planes could be used as missiles, safety was ephemeral, and quickly fading. It was a blur. I remember thinking that just hours before, I had been on an airplane flying home. It sent chills down my spine.

But we are all destined to sometime leave this earth. We think we will last forever and that is not the case. I have my faith placed on my Savior Jesus Christ and what he did for me on the cross. So I guess I am ready to go, when he calls me home. I just wish, we don't have to go violently. That everyone have the opportunity to live a clean and significant life. Unfortunately sinful people (all of us)can make stupid, cruel choices that not only hurt themselves but others. This wasn't an act of God, but a plan carried out by misguided wicked people. They will have to stand before the Almighty God and respond for their choices. I think they are in for a big surprise. This story is not over until we step over into eternity, and see like Paul Harvey, used to say, "the end of the story."

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