October 5, 2001

It started as a whisper in a Florida classroom on September 11, 2001. A presidential aid quietly relayed a message to President Bush that the inevitable had happened--a plane had hit the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the tower was now in flames.

As the children watched, the President's face became serious and reflective. For them this was a remarkable day, a day they had waited in anticipation to see, this, their President, sharing with them the values of citizenship. A special day, 9-1-1, September 11, 2001. But that whisper, what was it all about?

Students often engage in whispers. I know. I have been there. And whispers can be good or evil. The whisper the President heard was disturbing. The Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, heard this whisper soon afterward and called it evil. As people of the world, we saw this whisper unleash itself on our television screens; we were mesmerized by the heinous acts of sinister carnage and terrorism showing violence too often portrayed in R-rated movies.

Over the course of a week, that whisper has been shared by billions of peoples throughout this wide earth. And we have changed because of it. Strangers are weeping with strangers, neighbors praying with neighbors. We have become a valley filled with weeping and praying.

Peter Jennings, anchor for ABC News, said "Prayer...is becoming the fabric of life in America." Prayer vigils in thousands of cities, in capitals of countless countries, in streets and hospitals are soothing the soul of our land.

In his address to the nation Tuesday night President Bush quoted, "Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for You are with us."

That is the Bible's promise--we are not alone, for the Living God is with us and has not forsaken His people. It is now time for all of us to give our hearts and lives to the Lord and pray that He will change the hearts of all men and women.

A suggested prayer:

"Our heavenly Father,
Our spirits are robbed as we are overwhelmed with the frightening whispers on that fateful Tuesday. We saw the terrible acts of violence as towers crashed down as child's toys. We do not understand. Our cry is '9-1-1. Help!' Yet, we are reminded of the whispers of Mary to Elisabeth two thousand years ago: she was pregnant and was going to have the Baby Jesus, the Christ Child. He would live but also die a cruel and senseless death. Yet, He rose again and changed the world forever. Lord Jesus, come and change my life, my world, our world, so that we can all make a difference for You. Show us what it means to be a Christian citizen. Yes, Lord Jesus, we wait in anticipation For your arrival. Please come quickly.

Contributed by George Prins.

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