There have been three times in my life where I heard the voice of God – almost audibly, it was so strong. Last Sunday was one of them. I had gotten up, still tired, so emotions came easy. It was September 11th, and I’m sure, like you, you remembered where you were when you heard our world had changed. I was in Beckley, doing the trial of the State of West Virginia versus Fred Zain. Fred Zain was the criminal serologist who lied in his testimony about whether people’s blood type or whatever (this was before DNA) matched the defendant. He falsely testified about so many people, it would be hard to pin down who/what/when. But we were in a trial about what he had done, and it had a few more days to go.
We were starting court late that day for some reason, and I was in a motel getting ready and had the TV on. When the first plane hit, they instantly reported it, and I rushed to the TV. Our son, Tommy, had just completed basic training for the Marines on Friday. This was Tuesday. He was at home for the first time in months, sleeping in, enjoying the break between basic training and his duty assignment. I watched in horror, wondering what in the world, and then the second plane hit. At that time, Robin Hall helped us manage our household, and she was at our house in Ripley. I called and said, “Robin, get Tommy up – we’re going to war!” My heart was in my throat – see, Tommy went to the Marines to keep structure in his life and to earn the G.I. bill to hopefully go to college when he was more mature. Wise decisions. He certainly did not envision the world we had just entered. Nor did any of us.
She gets Tommy up, and I tell him what’s happened. He’s stunned – he can’t believe it. He thinks I’ve woken him up for some random rant and he can’t get his head wrapped around it. I’ve been to the 9-11 Memorial, and it is so moving, so raw and real. All those innocent people. Everyone has a story; everyone had a life. I get off the phone and try to get ahold of Tom. He was in court in Calhoun County, and these were the days before cells phones, of course, or not like today if we had them. I had to get the Circuit Clerk to get a message to him. He couldn’t believe it either. I still had to get ready for court.
I get to the courthouse, and they are shutting it down – everyone is leaving the Raleigh County Courthouse, as well as the Federal Courthouse. Our judge made the decision to plow ahead with the trial. Our jurors had been sequestered in a room since early morning, and they had no idea what had happened. We continued on all day as if the country was not under attack, and at the end of the day, the judge informed the jury of what had taken place. We continued our trial to conclusion, and it resulted in a hung jury. A hung jury! Seems there were several large important trials going on around the country, and three of them ended in a hung jury. I think people were just too shell-shocked to make decisions.
So last Sunday, I was emotional from not enough sleep, am always emotional on September 11th, and was listening to the news of the presidential candidates, and my heart just began to hurt. I prayed, “Lord, please, please, turn America around. Bless us and keep us.” I no more got those words out of my mind when I heard an answer that felt like a slap in the face. “What America? You mean the America that has turned her back on me? That America?” The answer I heard wasn’t a question – it was a stopping point in our conversation, the Lord and I. It felt like a “Get back – get on your knees and then come back and talk to me.” What answer did I have to that question? He didn’t want an answer – He wanted to prove a point.
This country is truly imploding, destroying itself from within more than we are being destroyed from without. The drugs we are ingesting into our bodies; the refusal to work to receive a wage but expecting a handout instead; the way our leaders will lie and deceive and steal and kill, all to line their pockets, not caring who or what is in their way; the lack of respect there is for authority, for people of faith, for anyone who isn’t just like you; the filth that comes out of our mouths and across our airways…..need I go on? Is it any wonder God is slapping back? He showed what he is capable of in the Old Testament – is that what America is going to get? Possibly what she deserves?
I have wondered if those who aren’t Christian have seen all these floods and fires and storms and earthquakes as signs that God is in control and we are not. Every time I see another one, I am reminded that we may think we have it all together and can run our lives and make everything flow just the way we want it to, but in the end, God will show His power; He will show His might, and every knee will bow….may we do it today before God turns his back on us!
2nd Chronicles 7:11-22:
11When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, 12the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
13“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
17“As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’
19“But if youa turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given youb and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21This temple will become a heap of rubble. Allc who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.