We woke to the news of hijacked planes crashing into the Pentagon and World Trade Center Towers. A plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania, also hijacked and purposely downed. With the rest of the world, we were riveted to TV and radio, listening in horror as the well-planned attack unfolded. With the rest of the world, we prayed for the victims and their families.
We went through our workdays by rote, a numbness permeating everything we did. Our small church, like thousands across the nation, held a prayer meeting and vigil, but I did not go. I was angry… at the perpetrators… at our government, which apparently didn’t see it coming……. at God. So I went home, stared at the TV and tried to find solace in reading Psalms 42 and 46. I found none. David came home from church, and we talked for awhile about the day’s events, and then went to bed.
At 12:30am, a tremendous crash brought us both straight up out of bed. A second thunderclap followed close behind. We tried to go back to sleep, but feeling restless and ill at ease, I got up and walked to the living room, where the smell of smoke was unmistakable. The phone rang, our neighbor reporting fire at the bottom of our road. With our neighbors and the fire department, we put out the small fire burning in the valley below our house, and then went back to bed. Immediately another storm blew through, and we lost all power for the next four hours.
In light of the events of the day, we could not be sure that it was just storm activity that knocked out power, and David and I lay in bed holding each other’s hand for comfort, unable to sleep. The morning dawned gray, still cloudy and drizzling. I went to work, parking in my normal spot overlooking our town. Getting out of my car, I turned, and was bedazzled by an enormous rainbow, stretching in a perfect arc, its beginning and end enfolding the entire city.
Genesis 9:13-15: “I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” In our troubles Lord, thank you for reminding us of your promises.