Day Three Journal

Subway ! Mere mention of the word can strike fear and trembling into the faint hearted, and conjures images of things unimaginable for even those with strong hearts. The thought of traveling on such a contraption at 1 am however is another thing. One policeman at the Clergy Crisis Responder Center (aka: St. Joseph's Chapel) where we are working told Mary Jane and Patti, that we should rethink our hiking a mile from ground zero to the subway at that hour, but with God as our Guide, Wayne to lead the way,   and Police Chaplain Bob Spears to keep us company, we set off confident that we'd get to our destination.

I must admit to an awe as I watched Bev this afternoon on the subway train. We no sooner got on the train heading to work and she had engaged a young pregnant woman in conversation. The smile on their faces when the woman got off several stops later told the story of how well Bev had connected so quickly. The rest of the trip, Bev sat next to a middle aged woman and they chatted comfortably the whole way. So much for the image of the fearsome subway riders of NY.

We've all asked for directions at some point so far this week (yes, even the men), and while I've noticed that not many of those we've asked have had the answer to our question about directions, all have been cordial and tried to help.

I sense a hunger for connection here that I don't remember from the previous times I've been in NYC, and we've been told that most who are asked if a volunteer worker can pray with them have been open to that.

The Billy Graham Ministry has prepared vast quantities of literature for distribution, from Bibles for Police Officers, Bible study material and booklets aimed at helping those who are dealing with grief and emotions that are a part of what has happened here. We carry it along with us for distribution to those coming into the center where we are assigned.

Pray that we'll be creative and bold in opening conversations with those coming for food and rest, and that they might see in us the compassion and love of Christ. It will be important to each one of them that this nation continues to pray for them as they continue to pick through the rubble for their fallen comrades and remove what is left of the WTC.

As we walked out of St. Joseph's this morning we were greeted by the sight of Lady Liberty herself as the harbor came into view.  What a sight, as tears flooded my eyes and my mind raced through American history and I considered the lives spent in pursuit of our freedom.  From the many who did not survive that first Winter after the Mayflower landed, on through the French and Indian Wars, the War of Independence itself, the War of 1812, Civil War,  World War I and II on to Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and now, our sons and daughters fighting in Afghanistan and who knows where to keep that hard fought freedom.   How precious is that freedom, and costly, and how blessed we are to be living in a land that was founded by men seeking God, using the Bible as their guide to carve and form the basics for us.  Even as we are praying for those in NYC, the need is great to consider all this and to ask God's protection on our troops as they endeavor on our behalf and the world's behalf to stop terrorism.