"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gagstastic emails part V

WARNING: The following gagtastic email concerns the events of 9/11, death, and is religious in nature.

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 .

When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew, in honor of the man who gave his life so that a mother and baby could live.

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.

*Big huge sigh*

First up, snopes.com says the story is fiction. Secondly, to a anyone who lost a friend or loved one on that day, the story is cruel as it implies that your fictional wife was worth saving while their loved one was not. I'm not even going into the whole thing with your fictional father dying but accepting Christ before his death. In my opinion, that was only put in this story to make the reader feel that you had suffered greatly and therefore deserved to have your wife spared.

I'm going off on a little tangent here.

One of the most cruel and unloving things a Christian can do to another person is to smugly quote: "God is in control" when the other person has suffered a devastating loss. Even if the recipient believes the statement is true, it provides little comfort to be sobbing and have somebody tell you that. I know for me, I hear it as a rebuke to buck up and be happy. Even worse is when someone tells you to "You should be happy because your loved one is with Jesus." *facepalm*

So here's the deal, you either keep your big, fat mouth shut or you say something like "I am sorry for your loss". Even those who believe in everlasting life, struggle with the loss of those near and dear to them. Let them grieve in their own way, in their own time. It's a hard enough process to go through without having to deal with "comforting" comments that provide little comfort.


Dr. Julie-Ann said...

Argh! I HATE these kind of highly manipulative emails. HATE, HATE, HATE them!

I am an extremely spiritual person who is deeply offended by such garbage as this.

I agree with Hairball. Just say "I'm sorry for your loss."

Did I mention that I HATE these kind of emails?? Is it any wonder that people roll their eyes when G*d is mentioned when this kind of stuff--which doesn't have any use in developing a deeper faith--is passed around?

Did I mention I HATE this kind of email?

I'll stand up on the soapbox with you, Hairball!

Amy said...

I didn't know that email was fiction, it's a pity although I'm sure there are some equally true and thoughtful people and happenings that went on during 9/11.
As for the "God is in control thing" - yep I"m a Christian and don't normally say that to people, it's hard to get that message across when someone's whole world has fallen apart. I like to say that I"m praying for them, ask if I can help in anyway and offer to pray for them, include hugs and just be there for them.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I hear you. I get so many of these fabrications and they immediately go to my trash. And some of them can be amazingly intricate, bordering on the ridiculous.

"I'm sorry for your loss," is sufficient. I don't like people telling me, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," either.
Does that mean if I were a weaker person, this wouldn't have happened?