A Vision to Hold on To
By Angela Cason, New York, New York
From Angels on Earth, September-October, 2019
It was one of those perfect New York autumn mornings- blue skies, a crisp breeze. A day when I felt lucky to live in the city. I was on my way out of my East side apartment when the doorman waved his hand to stop me.
“A plane just hit the World Trade Center,” he said.
An image of John F. Kennedy, Jr., shot through my mind. He had just crashed his private plane into the Atlantic Oceans that summer. These private plane owners really don’t know what they’re doing, I thought as the doorman pushed open the door. It was a terrible accident to be sure, but an accident nevertheless. I expected to see something about this one in the paper the next morning.
I walked over to Lexington Avenue and hopped on the train. I was on my way to 51st Street for my advertising agency job. I grabbed a seat and pulled out my book. Two stops later, a crowd of people pushed their way in.
“A second plane just hit the twin towers” one man announced.
“Oh no, I thought. Maybe the first plane wasn’t an accident after all.”
Someone murmured the word terrorist and I knew in my gut it was true. What would the next target be? I scanned through New York City in my mind. The Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building. What else held a lot of people and was easy to see from the sky? Grand Central, The Brooklyn Bridge. Thousands of commuters would most likely be trapped underground. I got off the subway and ran up the stairs to Lexington. I hopped onto a southbound bus. It was packed and crawling along the street, but I could see all the way downtown through the front window. Huge gray clouds mushroomed into the sky. What in the world is happening? Was anywhere safe? I closed my eyes and bent my head to pray.
“God, please look out for the people in danger and please look out for us.”
I started when a scene began to form in my mind. I saw a stairwell with a gray metal railing and concrete steps. People rushed down it – hurried but mindful of one another in their focus to escape. Up through the throng came a determined young firefighter in a yellow-striped canvas jacket. He climbed past the fleeing people, until he was higher up, all alone. Intent on doing his duty. As he continued his climb, he rounded a corner. Above him, the building was gone. Waiting for him there was an angel, large and bright against the dark debris surrounding them.
“Well done,” the angel said. “Now come with me.”
I opened my eyes. The scene I’d watched was so clear. So real. Not my imagination, but an actual vision. “God,” I asked, “Why did you choose me to see this?”
Who was the young firefighter I’d seen being taken up to heaven? Did he have a family who needed to know he was escorted by an angel to be with God?
I was deeply overwhelmed and comforted by the vision, but I believe it was meant to be shared so the firefighter’s family will learn of it and find peace.