Two gentlemen I know, one is the elderly father, the other his son, returned from their trip to Mumbia(Bombay) India, late Monday afternoon. I should add, two very happy men full of joy returned home, to be met by very thankful family and friends.
I will relate, briefly, part of their story from the terrorist attack on their hotel.
The first thing you must know is this, the elderly gentleman, who became a client of mine fifteen years ago, and became a friend in the process, is one of the kindest, gentlest men one could ever know. Always smiling, ever cheerful, despite the ravages of time on his body, and that of his dear, sweet wife. As he is approaching ninety years of age, he is in remarkably good health, but isn’t as steady on his feet as he once was, and uses a rolling walker to remain mobile.
It his story that I will focus on, as I related to his son, that he needs to write about his experience. I will not name them, as I don’t want to risk infringing on their privacy. It is with the knowledge of his son, that I write about their experience, but from my perspective, as a friend who listened intently to their story, and could only imagine the perils they faced.
Let me start with this one sentence, that I want you to repeat over several times.
THE ELEVATOR DOOR WAS CLOSING AS THE TERRORISTS RAN INTO THE LOBBY, AND THE SHOOTING BEGAN!
To try and explain all of the mitigating factors that led to that very moment, when the elevator door was closing, isn’t very difficult, but the impact of that moment is even less difficult to understand.
It was a ‘God Moment.’
A moment, described in five categories by Pastor Alan D. Wright in his book ‘God Moments.’ The category applicable here is:
Amazing Rescue—a moment when God guarded you, healed you, rescued you, or made a way out for you.
A ‘God Moment’ can also be described as:
This usually is a special time when it is clear that God has intervened and shown Himself in an exceptional way. It is important to notice and appreciate these unique moments and interventions of our Heavenly Father. We must enjoy them and thank Him for a clear answer to prayer, a sudden revelation of His will, a perfect circumstance that is no chance happening, a provision for a need, or a deep feeling of love and worship. These moments are important to recognize.
I know some will hiss and moan, and say it was just “fate..luck..timing” that impacted this gentleman’s life, at that precise moment. To them I can only say, you cannot see, if you don’t open your eyes.
The events leading to that moment, and the subsequent forty eight hours they remained barricaded in their hotel room, were anything but ordinary. They were attending the Synchronicity Foundation’s gathering in Mumbia, and were guests at the Oberoi, as were the others in their group.
The day began with the typically huge breakfast buffet, then sight seeing, and visiting with friends; then the typically huge lunch buffet at the hotel, with their group session in the afternoon. After returning to the hotel, the son told his father, he was going to skip dinner, as he had been eating far too much, in recent days, and asked his father if he wanted dinner. The father replied that he did want some soup, but not a full dinner. So the son assisted his elderly father to the dining room, just off of the lobby of the Oberoi, and seated him with friends, and made him comfortable. While the father was in the dining room, the son went to the mall area, that connects the Oberoi Hotel to the Trident, though they are separate facilities. There he used the internet office facilities, to send and receive emails. Upon concluding his business there, he looked in on his elderly father, who was enjoying his light dinner with friends. He informed his father, that he was going to the room, as he was growing tired. This, according to the son, was highly unusual in itself, as he generally was up quite late, and on most nights would have remained in the lobby, reading or visiting with friends.
Shortly after, the father, with the assistance of one of the ladies in the group, who was staying on the same floor as the father and son, decided to go to their rooms.
This part of the story is where it first struck me, that this was a ‘God Moment.’ Why was this night different than the others? Why did the son not join them in the dining room? Why, at that precise moment, did they decide to head upstairs? And finally, why did the elevator door open for them, and close for them, at the precise moment that it did?
I already have explained why, but these were the immediate questions that hit me, when the story was related.
Still, there is more.
They barricaded themselves in their room for two days, living in fear of the unknown, knowing from phone calls and television reports, that there were muslim terrorists committing this mayhem, and actively seeking out “Westerners,” and they survived. My first thought was of the age of my friend, and how dangerous it is for an elderly man to become dehydrated or malnourished.
It seems the ‘God Moment’ became “moments.” For some inexplicable reason, they had procured liter bottles of water, some fruit juices, and some breads and snacks. This danger was removed, as was the danger of the smoke from the fires, that got into their room. The air conditioner helped remove the smoke, until the fires were extinguished.
I can only add, that the relief I feel, knowing that my friends are safely home, with their loving families and friends, is only exceeded by those same people.
I’ve had ‘God Moments’ myself, some more profound than others, but I came to realize what they were. Which is why I was able to see, that my friends presence in the elevator, and the door closing when it did, was truly a ‘God Moment’ for him.
I’m certain there are many tales to be told, some with tragic endings, about this horrific terrorist attack. However, this one has touched me personally, and I thought I would relate it, in terms of my understanding of what has happened.
I explained this event to one of my daughters, late Monday night, and she understood immediately, what I was telling her.
I also related to the son, whom I also consider a friend, and his wife, as they departed for home yesterday, that his father’s presence in the elevator, was a ‘God Moment.’ They both agreed, and their traumatized thoughts were replaced, for a moment, with a look of understanding in their eyes, that his father had indeed, experienced a ‘God Moment.’
Cross posted at Urban Grounds.