On the morning of September 11, 2001, in an airport hotel in Minneapolis getting ready to fly home from vacationing in Minnesota, my friends and I watched as the second plane hit and the towers fell. Within minutes every plane in the skies over America was grounded and we, like thousands of others, were stranded. I’ve never wanted to be home so badly. After calling the rental car company for two hours, we drove home in the car we had planned to return that morning. During fourteen hours in the car we listened to radio news, saw Airforce 1 with its accompanying fighter jets flying from Omaha to Washington, DC and tried to get our minds around what had happened. In shock, I watched the news constantly for days after I got home. Then I got the opportunity to serve at Ground Zero with The Salvation Army.
After driving to New York City and working for a week at Ground Zero, I did something I had never done before. I started waking with night terrors: racing heart, calling out for help, and feeling that I was going to die, usually falling, sometimes drowning. In my conscious hours, I did not feel afraid; I felt angry and sad that people were willing to kill themselves so that they could kill thousands. I just do not understand that kind of hatred, but these night terrors went on for two or three years which meant the terrorists had succeeded.
Then one day as I was reading my Bible, I found Psalm 4:8. “I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” I haven’t had a night terror since I began repeating this affirmation of trust when I go to bed. The war on terror is an inner battle. I may be killed by a gun-wielding or bomb-toting terrorist, but I do not have to spend my days and nights in fear of that. I choose to trust my loving God, who takes away fear.