In my own words
A story for these times
Nov. 11, 2001
On the morning of Nov. 11, 1942, at about 10 a.m., I was painting the floor of the little hallway in our upstairs apartment, when the thought, rather loud and clear, occurred to me what would I do if I received word that my brother, Bubba, was dead? Would I keep painting the hall?
Within the next 15 minutes my husband started up the stairs, but before he came in sight I called out "You can't come up all the way, I'm painting the hall." He came to the landing in sight and stopped, and before he got beyond the word "Sugar," I said, "Bubba's dead?" I do believe in mental telepathy and I experienced it.
Bubba, known to his many friends as Little Flats, and named George Harold Davis at birth, was a ferry pilot in Accra, North Africa, and it was their job to fly planes from one destination to another, planes that had been damaged in action and needed to be repaired.
It was Friday, early morning, and on returning from a mission he found orders to pick up this plane, an A-20 fighter, at a location nearby and fly it to the repair facility. Shortly after takeoff, he radioed in that one engine had failed, but he thought he could bring it in on the other engine. Then in a few minutes he radioed that the other engine was gone, and he was going to try to hit the silk.
As I heard later, an A-20 was a difficult plane to eject from. The last contact he had with the radio tower, he said, "I believe I can bring it in." It was a similar thought of those who know about planes, who felt that because the engine sputtered there was some hope of it picking up.
However, the plane had lost altitude. The report we had was that he had ejected but his parachute fouled the plane, and he was probably down to a low altitude when he crashed.
I don't know what the time difference is in our Meridian time and North Africa time; however, on the morning of Nov. 6, when my husband got out of bed at 3:30 a.m. as he had to go to work at 4 a.m., a picture in our bedroom fell from the wall, and I remembered the old saying that my grandmother said more than once in my presence "when a picture falls, it is a sign of someone dying."
From that time on, until after the news of Bubba's death, I felt apprehension, and while I prayed daily for his safety, there was a different feeling in my heart.
World War II was a war that we were fighting with known enemies, and it was a war to end wars, so we thought. But the war we are in today we have to realize is being fought on a world battleground between intense hatred and incredible love.
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, terror spread its ugly, evil tentacles into our homes and hearts, and we can never feel secure again. What are we to make of this tragedy?
And some may be asking "Where was God?" Where is God in such a calamity? You can be sure God was not seen in the savage, ruthless acts of these terrorists. God values freedom, and he allows men and women to make choices, even if those choices are wrong and evil.
As human beings, the greatest gift God has given to us is the freedom of choice, and to ensure that gift he sent his son Jesus into the world to live a sinless life, and to prove that Satan, who was created by God, placed in next to the highest position in heaven, allowed his freedom of choice to make war in heaven. Isaiah 14:12 says: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" Verses 13 and 14 say: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: (in the place of control) I will be like the most High."
God is in control and he has won the war, but he is not willing that any one of us should perish, and so, the choice he allows us, comes in the challenge of Joshua in chapter 24, verses 14 and 15 "choose ye this day whom ye will serve?
So, until the day that God has chosen to bring an end to this world, this battleground between Satan's intense hatred and God's incredible love, mankind is allowed the freedom of choice.
Where was God when terror rained from the sky on September 11, 2001 he was seen in the selfless people who helped injured co-workers down 80 flights of stairs; in the scores of firefighters and police officers who unhesitatingly rushed into harm's way at the scene and then was buried when buildings collapsed.
Every time you see unselfish love, God is there, and I remind you of the greatest act of unselfish love this universe has ever witnessed and still speaks to us today from a bloodstained cross on a rugged hill called CALVARY.
Velma Parker lives in Meridian.