Gracee slept here last night. She called me a little before 5 a.m. to investigate a shadow in her room. She saw “a face.” And yes, her bathrobe crumpled at the foot of her bed indeed cast a face-like shadow on her wall.
Fear is accentuated in shadows.
I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I pulled a book, America’s Heroes, from the shelf and immersed myself in the stories and the images of that awful day 8 years ago.
I was on my way to Bible study, rejoicing in God’s goodness and looking forward to spending the morning with other ladies digging into the Word. I heard the report of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center but did not grasp the unfolding tragedy. As the church staff brought more news, we wept and we prayed.
The shadow of lurking evil smashed into our country in broad daylight and accentuated fear.
The whole world stopped that day. Familes were changed in an instant. Our lives will never be the same.
Evil hoped to shatter and break us. But we bonded together, and fear birthed courage. Out of the ashes and smoke rose those who gave of themselves and continue to do so for our freedom and for our safety.
America’s Heroes tells the stories of those from all walks of life whose lives intersected in a moment–from the cave explorer who knew he could use his skills to crawl through the rubble finding safe paths for search and rescue, to the passengers of Flight 93 who rolled to save the Capitol or White House, to the chaplain who died while praying over a fallen firefighter, to the men who carried a woman in a wheelchair 68 floors to safety, to Roselle the yellow Lab who ushered her blind master and coworkers from the 78th floor into the light without hesitating, to trained and exhausted rescue dogs, to countless police officers and firefighters, to blood donors, to multitudes of others, including a president who kept his composure in front of a room full of elementary children.
In the Pentagon, Army Lt. Col. Victor Correa “picked himself up from the floor” and ran down the hall.” He screamed, “Listen to me. Listen to me. Follow my voice.” And “folks started streaming out.”
There is Another who calls through our personal smoke and devastation. He is the One Who sacrificed everything for us. If we listen to Him and follow His voice, He will dispel all shadows of fear and lead us into the Light. He will give us the courage to stand in the face of whatever comes our way. Our ultimate Hero.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Where were you when you heard?
Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King