Oct 8, 2013

I'm Leaving Today

6:00 a.m., New York time (4:00 Mountain), the girls were up and dressed. I heard them ask if I was joining them on the Today show. I think I answered. I did not feel the Today love they were feeling. It was Jene's birthday. I left Today to them. It was a gamble they were willing to take but it paid off. They met Al Roker, Carson Daily (who shared a moment with Jene, having just celebrated his 40th birthday) and had three or four seconds of fame on television. Did you see them?
Can you believe I missed the opportunity to be in this shot?
Look at them. They look perfectly normal. Not creepy or crazy AT ALL.

We hit the subway system again. There were no more famous people sightings. Unless you count my sisters who were on the Today show. We got on the wrong train a lot. We were turned around and had to take more subways. We finally made it to the World Trade Center Memorial, waited in a long line to get tickets, waited in a line to get in then found ourselves sobered by the feelings of loss and magnitude.

 This is all that is left of...

this...

One World Trade Center

Perhaps you've heard the story about the church by the World Trade Center, St. Paul's. It abuts the World Trade acreage. 
Both towers mortally wounded, an hour after being hit, the first tower crumbles. The earth shakes. Unimaginable demolition follows. It took 11 seconds to crumble. The second tower falls shortly afterward. 16 seconds to fall. The aftermath of the towers built by man, like the towers of Babel but not to commune with God but to be like Gods, is an angry storm of debris, raining upon people and buildings. Cars parked blocks away are smashed beyond recognition. Windows shatter around lower Manhattan. The force of the blast uproots all but one tree in the World Trade Center. It has been renamed "The Survivor Tree."

A huge Sycamore tree in the churchyard adjacent from the center has stood for over 100 years, protecting the chapel. It perishes with the others and falls on the old church where George Washington prayed before his inauguration. The tiny cemetery with headstones as old as the 1760's, before the city rose to the heights of today, was undisturbed. The old Sycamore fell on the church like God's own cushion. Not a single window cracked. 

As the dust settled, the chapel with the lone spire pointing heavenward stood as a quiet testimony of where to seek comfort. Rescue workers were fed here, slept here, and found restored strength to return to the horrific task of cleaning. There was no more hope of rescue. After the first 27 hours, there were no more survivors found. There was only walking down into the shadow of death.

Yet I can't help but believe, after watching and listening to the survivors of that tragic day, that there are more ways to be rescued than by escaping calamity.

Psalms 23

 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Metaphorically speaking, I believe there is a Sycamore tree that protects my faith and brings me back to Him again and again for comfort, for protection, and for mercy. It was planted by my forefathers generations ago in preparation to rescue my soul when I wander. 

Look for that Sycamore tree today. You have one, too.


2 comments:

Angelwithatwist said...

I have often wandered as well. I think that church would also stand as a reminder to the nation. While God has never failed me often churches have. It is so hard to find one that is not simply doing what we were commanded by Jesus. Love. Right where anyone is.

Kimberly said...

That is amazing. I've never heard of that and it's a sign that he is always there even in the face of tragedy.
I had a fall out with religion and God because of life's tribulations. I think that I needed someone to blame and it was religion. Like "How could he let this happen"...
I'm working on getting back and stories like these keep me trying.