Sunday, September 11, 2011

Appointment at Ground Zero

         Late in 2001 our friends, Hylan and his wife Rita visited friends in Pennsylvania, then drove to Manhattan to see Ground Zero. He relates they were moved to tears at the staggering size of the destruction. As he was parking the car he asked a stranger if he knew of a good observation spot. He said there really wasn’t any good place, but his apartment would afford a view from the 32nd floor. “We checked each other out,” Hylan says, then took him up on the offer.
        They entered his apartment and walked over to the window overlooking the Hudson River to the left and Ground Zero to the right. It was a commanding view. Then Hylan noticed on the windowsill a “house blessing” in Hebrew. He asked the man if he was Jewish, and he was.
        “Our conversation became rather personal and intimate,” Hylan says. The man told of his life in 2001. His six year-old daughter died of an unknown illness. His wife left him one day before their tenth anniversary. He had cancer with accompanying radiation and chemotherapy.
        Then came 9-11. The man showed them his home video of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center. He hadn’t shown it to anyone.

        Hylan describes, “We were very privileged visitors. We shared God’s love with him, exchanged business cards and email addresses. Bruce needs a special touch from God to heal the hurts and wounds of his past and to move on into the future.” He closes with, “It was a divine appointment.”
        Such love God has for this man. In His faithfulness God allowed Bruce to meet with Hylan, a Messianic rabbi, a man with a deep and joyous commitment to Jesus as Messiah.
        Your circumstances may be very different. Maybe the only believers in Jesus that you know are not sterling examples of love and joyfulness. Maybe people you know are religious and over-bearing. Or possibly your friends are so busy accumulating things that they have no time to think about an eternal future somewhere.
        Nonetheless, you have a sunrise every morning and a sunset every evening. At night all of God’s stars and planets in the vastness of space are demonstrating His awesome power and design. He is One; there are no other gods. He is absolutely holy and perfect.
        So holy and perfect, He cannot accept us into His presence without our being made pure and spotless. Since that is totally impossible on our own, He offered His Son, Jesus the Messiah, to become our sin-offering.
        Receiving such a gift takes only a thoughtful heart. Appreciate what God wants to give you; then ask Him to come into your heart and life. Don’t stew about how you might have to live like some super-spiritual person. God wants to show you and help you live a life that is far above what you thought possible.
        When you accept the beautiful simplicity of God’s plan, His overwhelming love, then you wouldn’t care about being teased or misunderstood or rejected by others. You’d turn to Him, now. Our hope is a lively expectation, a firm trust in God.
        Don’t wait until another “Ground Zero” to think about life and death. One day will be too late for you, for each of us. In God’s amazing grace He is reaching out to you. Such love He has for you; don’t turn aside. Now! Yes, now is a wonderful time to receive His love.
        There are Divine Appointments for all of us. Oh, the blessings we could enjoy if we allow ourselves to get beyond skepticism, confusion, and pain, and enter into the joy of knowing —and sharing— God’s love.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason
for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect,”
(I Peter 3:15).

“And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”
(Romans 5:5).

by Elaine Hardt ©2002