The voice of concern
I was headed out the door for the office when my wife called with a voice of concern, “Have you heard the news this morning?” “No,” I said. Then she continued, “Turn on the TV before you leave the house! A plane just hit the World Trade Center!” She had been watching the news while waiting for her order at the local café.
I immediately received a second call with a voice of concern from an acquaintance waiting to board a flight in Atlanta bound for his home in Durban, South Africa. He was watching the same unfolding scene as my wife and I, but from the Delta terminal monitors in Atlanta, “Craig, what is going on?” I tried to be attentive to him, but the unfolding news of 9/11/2001 made it very difficult.
We were still talking when the unimaginable happened. A second plane struck the second tower! Again the voice from Atlanta asked, “What is happening?” and my response was “I don’t know.” The voice of concern was also heard from every TV network reporter covering the unfolding event.
My conversation on the phone became fragmented in the wake of the horror and we agreed to call each other at a later time. He didn’t make his flight to Durbin as all commercial air traffic in the United States was immediately suspended by the President.
The voice of hope
My South African friend once practiced Hinduism, the tradition of his father and family, and had decided to pursue the Hindu priesthood himself. However, an unplanned diversion occurred in his life when someone persuaded him to attend a Billy Graham gathering. He agreed but was later angry with himself as he sat frustrated and anxious for the event to end.
Unexpectedly he began to hear the voice of hope from Billy Graham, hope which penetrated his heart of anxiety. Mr. Graham concluded by inviting all who would surrender their lives to the voice of hope, Jesus Christ. Thousands responded and made their way from stadium seats to the stage front where Billy Graham spoke of Christ’s mission to liberate the heart of humanity from hopelessness to hope.
While the stadium of people sang a familiar hymn, my friend arrived at the front of the platform and was met by Reinhard Bonnke who prayed for him to receive Christ.
Hope’s Continuing Voice
Decades later, here he was again in an unplanned diversion. He was prepared to board a plane to return home to his wife and family, but he and his 391 fellow passengers instead were in the unfolding horror of 9/11.
The heaviness of hopelessness began to settle on everyone in the boarding area and many began to weep. Moved by compassion my friend approached the ticket agent and said, “I am a pastor. Is there anything I can do to help?”
The agent simply handed him the microphone. With a mic in hand, all he could think to do was sing a hymn and conclude with prayer. He later discovered his simple act had been patched into the entire Delta Airlines intercom system in Atlanta and heard throughout the terminal. Through all of the voices of fear and uncertainty, his emerged the voice of hope to comfort thousands of frightened and confused commuters and airport employees.
Delta Airlines placed him and his 391 fellow passengers in a nearby hotel. During the next three days, he became the voice of hope to stranded travelers. He tirelessly cared for and prayed with anyone willing. During those three days, seventy of the passengers gave their lives to Jesus Christ, the voice of hope and liberator of the heart.
Three Steps To The Voice of Hope
For the confused, wounded, and hopeless heart, Christ remains the voice of hope for genuine, lasting, rescue, and liberation. How?
- Listen: His voice is clear, kind, healing, and purposeful, for any and all.
- Respond: When your heart recognizes him, you will know, and that is your moment to act.
- Receive: Jesus is your voice of hope. Let him move from head to your heart.