Remark on a second Christian chain mail
This is a sequel to the first article in the ‘series’.
I know my mother has better things to do with her job than to forward these emails to everyone in her address book…I just haven’t gotten her to realize it. And so, today, I got a particularly…infuriating…email.
This is a long one, so I’ll just advise you to click the more link if you want to read the wall of text…
A man from Norfolk , VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003, TWO YEARS AFTER THE TRAGEDIES OF 9/11/2001. His name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:
A few weeks before Sept. 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child.. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister. On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said ‘amen,’ we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently. We had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. both very upset, we drove home..
I received a call from my father who was retired NYFD. He asked what my wife’s flight number was, but I explained that we missed the flight.
My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower. I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. ‘This is not something I can’t just sit by for; I have to do something.’
I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, ‘take good care of my grandchild. Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort.
My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. I was angry at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say good-bye.
Then something happened. About two months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn’t expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child.
The man looked at me and asked if my father’s name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, ‘I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.’
He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack. She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, ‘there is something else you need to know.’
His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news.
Now I know that when I get to Heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves .
…This story should help us to realize this: God is always in control.
We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.
Please take time to share this amazing story. You may never know the impact it may have on someone.. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures Forever. Psalm 136:1
May God bless you, and your family,
I told my mom that this was one of the more despicable emails she had sent me, and then she asked me why I was…”so bitter.”
I replied that I wasn’t bitter at all, but the gross depiction of reality and of a god in this situation (that people apparently BELIEVE IN and FORWARD EMAILS ABOUT) was sickening.
Let’s evaluate. The moral of the story is that God, of course, is in control. Our scripture: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
But…c’mon. Look at the implications. If you have a loved one who died on the planes in 9/11, that was God’s doing. And God is in control, so their death was probably to give SOMEONE else great chain mail material. If you were REALLY righteous (or maybe you just prayed harder), then your loved one would have not passed go, would not have gotten on the plane, and would not have died. After all, to his Elect, God provides true miracles such as blowing the tires of cars. (To people who die in car malfunctions…you probably didn’t pray hard enough for your safety. Or maybe you just don’t realize God’s plan for you involves your death?)
But then, in this story, you have this heroic dude…the father. And even the heroics is rent to pieces…the guy is more concerned about his father not being “saved” than he is about his life. And the great triumph of the story isn’t that his father was able to save someone (or that the husband of a survivor found the narrator of the story), but instead that before his death, the father came to Jesus Christ.
So really, what we are supposed to believe is that if that hadn’t happened, this email would be pointless. Because coming to *belief in Christ* is better than heroic *action*.
It’s times like these that I’m glad that most chain mails are fabricated or embellished…because it would infuriate me more to think that there are people who actually walk about thinking like this. Yet, even if this piece is falsified, the sad fact is there are people who manufacture such stories and propagate them on the internet.
…as a consolation, I was glad to find that in many ways, this piece wouldn’t “mesh” with many Mormon ideas. So, I could tell it was more of a generic faith promoting rumor than a Mormon faith promoting rumor. And in many ways, I think the Mormon ‘counterpoints’ to several ideas in this story would be less infuriating. But that’ll wait for another day.