Last week I had an appointment in a medical facility that used to house the offices of my obstetrician. As I traipsed down the hall toward my new doctor’s waiting room, I glimpsed something familiar out of the corner of my eye that stopped me in my tracks. A flood of memories washed over me…memories of the Tuesday morning, exactly ten years ago today, when I sat in one of these same chairs while the world, as we knew it, changed.
Fifteen weeks pregnant with our third child, I had been eagerly anticipating my early-morning prenatal visit when suddenly, the waiting room TV began to pour forth shocking images. The newscasters were breathless as they reported, in high-pitched voices, the unspeakable acts of terror that had been committed. I sat frozen in that chair, stunned, unable to comprehend or absorb what was happening, as the reports continued.
I’m not sure now how long I sat there—riveted to the box in front of me, gaping at the destruction and horror being broadcast—before I was roused by the realization that someone was calling my name. Numbly, I followed a nurse to the exam room while myriad emotions battled within me. Fear. Anger. Injustice. Shock. More anger. My heart turned leaden as I contemplated the precious, tiny life inside me and the bleak world into which he (or she?) would be born. I can remember that sadness descending upon me like a weight…
…until the good doctor came in, and the Doppler device was brought out…
…and a beautiful sound filled the room.
For the first time, I enjoyed the blessing of hearing this unborn baby’s heartbeat, strong and healthy. (I still get chills just remembering it.) I heard that glorious sound—the remarkable sound of reassurance and relief— just minutes after seeing the disturbing footage that was being delivered to the waiting-room occupants and to the rest of a horrified country…and yet my spirits were lifted by the assurance that this tiny child was alive and safe.
I began to rejoice. I began to dream of a peaceful world for all our babies—one free from terrorism and its accompanying gloom. I began to pray that this miniature, unborn person might grow up and help make this world better. I began to believe that with God’s help, he (or she?) truly could.
Today, I am praying for all those who suffered loss in that tragedy, and who continue to suffer. Today, I am thanking God for all the brave ones, the unselfish ones, who came to the aid of those in need. But especially today, I am praying for the families of the unborn babies who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks. Especially today, I am praying for a group of children around my daughter’s age—over 100, now-9-year-old boys and girls who never had the privilege of meeting their earthly fathers because of this senseless tragedy. Especially today, I am praying for their mothers, who had to try to explain the inexplicable.
There is a better world coming. A perfect world.
Let’s be ready!
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20
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