Philip Yancey, a noted Christian writer, had the opportunity to visit New York City soon after the Islamic Extremists’ attack on 9-11. He made some observations in his devotional book, "Grace Notes”, in which he stated his admiration for the work of the Salvation Army in that situation. They offered so much assistance to the exhausted and suffering emergency responders and workers who filled the streets each day during that horrific time. Those responders and workers saw firsthand, the grim and destructive results of one group’s hatred against another and the Salvation Army was there to help them bear that burden.
But down there in the midst of all that death and destruction, Yancey saw yet something else…three booths set up in a building across from the WTC site: Police Officers for Christ, Firemen for Christ and Sanitation Workers for Christ (motley crew for sure!). The workers had asked the Salvation Army Chaplains to conduct two prayer services each day at the booth locations, and each was well attended.
What struck me as I read that was there were no booths marked as “Firefighters for Buddha” or “Police for Islam” or “Confucius for Comfort”. The intent of noting that observation is not to call attention to the absence of booths calling out to pagan entities at the site, but rather that when it all hits the fan—it is God people need, not religion. And God says if you seek God you find God; and if you find God in this era of time, you find Jesus. There is an innate “hole” in every human being’s heart that longs for the God of its creation. Some deny that longing and try to fill that hole with the empty and fleeting pleasures of life; and others try to fill that hole with ill-fitting pagan philosophies, but to no avail. But for those who find the living God, they find that missing piece that fits perfectly into the puzzle in their hearts.
From that day forward, their lives are never the same. And I am sure, that in the rubble of 9-11, many found a restored relationship with Christ. An enemy may debase and destroy the physical land on which you live, but none can destroy the territory that belongs to the Lord. Endure the fire...it's producing pure gold!
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