Tonight I had one of the most moving experiences of my life. Today is Friday, September 11, 2009, 8 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. I saw the smoke erupt over the Pentagon as I was leaving the gym that morning at Georgetown University. Today, in my world of metro and work, there was very little remembrance of this day, except for a small flag hanging in the lobby. As Scott and I (and Claire) were driving to the Fresh Anointing prayer meeting, I commented how some people have very deep and personal reactions to this day, and I wish I had more of that. But I had only lived in the U.S. for one year at the time, and I didn't feel the allegiance and pride in this country that grows with time. I had no idea how God was going to answer that desire, this very night.
The prayer meeting was, as usual, wonderful. As soon as we arrived we were enveloped in the joy of the Lord, and we lifted our hands and danced - Claire, too! Toward the end, they have a time of prayer for healing, and Scott was helping. As it was getting late for Claire, I stayed near the door. A couple arrived and said it was their first time. I explained what was going on and the woman mentioned that her husband needed prayer, because he had just returned from Afghanistan. They both received prayer for quite some time. After the prayer meeting was over, I just wanted to thank him, but as I talked to him, I said, "Can I give you a hug?" He got up and I hugged him tight and started to cry. He said it felt good to be thanked, and he was moved, too. I didn't want to let go but I thought it would be inappropriate! He told me he was a "walking wounded" and was recovering. I welcomed him home and told him how blessed I was to have met him. He said he also had felt healing during his prayer, and he was very glad to have come.
Hours later, I am still teary-eyed over this meeting. It is so different to actually meet someone who has left his country and everything he knows to fight for freedom and to be willing to die for it. He represents so many men and women who have done the same thing - real people, flesh and blood.
Thank you, Lord, for this 9/11 I will never forget.