Many of us remember exactly where we were on 9/11/2001. I do too. Standing on the streets of NYC a few blocks from the World Trade Center- just emerging from the subway. As I watched the first tower burning, I was clueless a New Yorker. Then the unthinkable happened; I saw the 2nd plane crash into the building. There were expressions of disbelief all around as we stood watching and wondering. Somehow, without knowing what was happening- I knew something was wrong. As I rushed into my office building, we quickly realized it was time to get out of the city. That was when my mind rushed to my son who was in school in Brooklyn. I had no idea when I would get home or how. We had found out that the closest bridge – the Brooklyn Bridge was closed as a measure of caution. The only other way to walk into Brooklyn was via the Manhattan Bridge through Chinatown. That was a walk indeed.
I called my son’s school and spoke with one of the administrators. Like many others, she wasn’t clear on what was going on. She asked me if it was that serious. I told her yes and informed her that I had no idea how or when I would get home. I never forgot the words, I said next: “If I don’t get there on time, send T– home with someone.” Isn’t that amazing? My son was in a school community where I could be at peace that someone would take care of him. I never wondered or worried about him for one minute. Such was the spirit and sense of community that existed at this small private Christian school in Brooklyn, New York. As a community, we looked out for each other.
Exactly two years before, on 9/9/1999 the doors of this academy had opened providing a safe place for children including my son. The school was birthed out of our Bishop’s obedience to God’s leading. This was indeed a September to remember. The church family rallied together- all hands on deck [ for the most part]. There will always be those who doubt or take a ‘wait and see’ approach – especially when a vision seems unattainable. Such is the nature of humankind.
That day in September 2001, I was reminded why enrolling my son in that school was one of the best decisions I had ever made. There were people there who cared. Cared for way more than academia. This was a place where children were welcomed. Students who the public schools had given up on or had failed. Labeled and misunderstood, many of them didn’t have a chance of surviving in the large public school system. They had the opportunity to be equally loved with students who were from more stable environments. Equally loved and cared for while being exposed to values and principles that would help to mold and shape them for life. If only for a brief moment in time, seeds were planted. As they moved on the other schools and colleges, they certainly took those memories and lessons with them.
My son has long graduated and gone on into adulthood. The friends he met there are still his friends today. They have become groomsmen and bridesmaids at each others weddings. They still celebrate milestones together. Over the years the bonds that were formed at this academy has remained unbreakable. A while back my son was looking at some old pictures I had of himself and friends. He marveled at how they have remained connected over the years. He wanted to hear the story of how I got connected to that community that would eventually become his ‘village’ too.
I don’t remember when I got home that day in September 2001. I don’t even remember who had my son. Parents understand that in times of crisis, you cannot put a price on peace of mind. That September, because of CHA I had the peace of mind that allowed me to only focus on getting home. Because someone chose to obey in September 1999, many of us were blessed on that day in September in 2001. Do you get the picture? So, what have you been putting of doing? Is there a God-given dream or vision that you have buried? I wonder who is waiting to blessed by your obedience. Think about that today and be challenged to ‘just do it’.
*** Thanks for reading- Just Do It!