The Forgotten

A Dedication to Oklahoma City

The Forgotten cover


Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

It seems like the first day of spring with branches budding and birds bathing in the reflecting pond. Folks lounge commemorating the forgotten. They read the names of God’s children on the soot-caked wall that stands in infamy; sons and daughters that will live on in our hearts forever. A tear gently falls as I pause between the bronze plated walls. God’s presence is here – amongst the pines and the pond. A young ranger tries to make sense of it all, and he can’t give answers to the senseless ‘why?’ questions.

The Forgotten pic 1
The reflecting pond at Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

It was a beautiful morning, similar to an early summer day, and the employees paraded in holding their children’s hand. There was a State to run, and a daycare downstairs meant Mom was not very far away. But everything changed in a blink of a second. Just as so many times before they thought it was safe, a non-conspicuous van double parked by the entrance.

April 19, 1995, at 9:03 AM will live on in infamy.

Today, a young gentleman lays his hand in the blessed waters of the reflection pond and places his palm against the bronzed plated wall. I reverently observed, not wanting to ask about his connection to this sacred site. But it was clearly a tribute to God who is ever mindful of the innocent, but now lost. There is a special place held in heaven for these blessed children of this casualty.

I am touched to the core. Girls and boys of every color and creed were saved by grace that day. They take their place in the shade of a one-hundred-year-old elm tree – its limbs almost dead from the blast. I stand in the shadow and feel the presence of kids running hither and yon around my legs. The muffled laughter of children now resides with the Lord. He held their hands and guided them away to the promised land. God bless every child and their families involved in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

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The “survivor tree”. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

EDITOR’S HISTORY NOTES:

This true narrative was written based on a recent visit to the historical site of the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing – Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This beautiful and serene site is dedicated to its 168 victims who were in the building, a woman in the parking lot across the street, a rescue worker struck in the head by debris, and three others in adjoining buildings.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, ex-army companions, plotted this travesty to show revenge for the US Federal Government’s participation in the burning of Waco. Before his decision to bomb the building, he considered assassinating some government officials involved in the Waco incident but later felt his message of disdain would be better perceived if many people were killed. So, McVeigh considered government buildings in Missouri, Arizona, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

McVeigh and Nichols purchased or stole the fertilizer and chemicals needed to bomb the building. Four days prior to the attack, he rented a Ryder truck using an alias name and parked a getaway car several blocks from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. His original plan was to destroy the building at 11 AM but that morning Timothy, instead, chose 9 AM. With 4,800 pounds of explosives, and a manila envelope carrying pages from The Turner Diaries, he detonated two bombs at 9:03 AM. It could be heard and felt up to 55 miles away. Ninety minutes later, McVeigh was stopped on an interstate for driving a vehicle without a license plate and having a concealed weapon.

On June 11, 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection. Terry Nichols stood trial twice and now serves a life sentence, without chance of parole.

The National Park Service’s memorial site is at the location of the bombing. Before entering the grounds, a chain link fence displays hundreds of notes, pictures, teddy bears, etc. left in commemoration of the many children who passed away from this senseless act.

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Besides the empty chair monuments which represent every fallen victim, a reflecting pond was created to allow time for visitors to reflect on this historical moment. On the opposite side, still stands “the survivor tree,” a one-hundred-year-old American Elm. Two years after the bombing, an arborist saved its life, so today it stands to remind us that life continues after tragedy.

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Empty chair monuments representing each fallen victim. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

 

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The “Survivor Tree”. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

 

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The Wilted Flower

In loving memory of Lady Pamela Carol….

My Wilted Flower cover


I thought if I placed the flowers in the sun, they would thrive and live a little longer. But the water was too warm sitting there. So, I moved the bouquet to the center of the hand-rubbed, drop leaf table proudly congregating in a vase in my dining room. Here they could be admired! It was filled with jonquils, tulips, baby’s breath, ferns, lilacs, and lilies too; but they were also protected from view. A Lady Pamela Carol, with all her distinct beauty and character, stood amongst the other flowers trying to mingle. With such grace, she noticeably took her place by herself. Though not tall, with solitude and effervescence, Lady Pamela Carol stood alone capturing what life had to offer. A million-dollar bouquet that could light up a room by itself, our Lady Pamela, with all her fragrance, stood quietly poised amid the other flowers.

My Wilted Flower rose

One day, I noticed on my table that one of my flowers was wilting away. I rushed to remove it as the others too, might wilt along with the baby’s breath. Before me, as I held her in my hands, my wilted flower Lady Pamela, lay faded. The rest knew they lost one of their own as they all drooped reverently to honor her. I placed my little flower on white linen and said a prayer….

Lord, before you lay a lady of eloquence, a flower, Lord. Lady Pamela Carol, my little rose. Take her dear Lord, give her life in a meadow in heaven and, as you stand guard, Lord, may Lady Pamela be by your feet, lining the pathway to heaven for others to follow…. Amen.

 

My Wilted Flower verse


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In The Name of Love

and….Signs of the End Times

TEST 2


Signs of the End Times As Told In The Bible:

Deception: Many people will claim to be the Messiah.

Disputes Among Nations: The Bible says that as we move toward the End Times, there will be constant talk of conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, and national battles.

Devastation: As we get closer to the End Times, there will be more and more famine, earthquakes, and pestilence.

Persecution of Christians: We are seeing this happen today with the rise of ISIS and their attacks on Christians in the Middle East.

In The Name of Love


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A Mother’s Hell

When you find yourself in a dark hour of trial, lean into God. That is where you will find strength, hope, and courage.


Long before her minstrel or thoughts of cotillion…. do we ever know the magnitude of the tribulations and trials our parents went through as children? Cell phones and computers were words of nonexistence. But almost a hundred years ago, a mother, scorned as a child, lived with a scar that not even God could change.

In the West Virginia hills, a family of five barely thrived as the coal mines were the heartbeat of the nation. Raising children was an experience that, well, anyone who can read could never imagine. Muddy roads, outhouses and central air from a pot belly were the only conveniences of life. It was here, in a Berkeley community, that a disaster of enormous proportion occurred. A Mother's Hell 2

At the tender age of four, this mother’s tiny brother slips under the water in a bathtub as she reached for a towel. Scorned for life-changing circumstances, the mourning family was cursed. The Mom and Dad divorced and on a rainy, cold Monday morning, they packed up the Packard and moved away to Baltimore.

As God tried to comfort, the scars remained, but life went on. A broken family finds little peace. Faith is blocked, and the Holy Spirit is not received anymore. The mother remarried, and the dad heads to Greensboro. Now torn, two sisters parade into the Presbyterian….numb and bearing the shame every Sunday.

That little sister now lies beside her brother and joined in heaven where only God can heal the sorrow. In forever eternal love, God has wrapped His arms around them both.

As He lovingly looked down at His little children, He smiled and said — “All is forgiven”.

 

Please enjoy this video from Pastor Greg Laurie and Steven Chapman on pain and grief.  Know you are never alone……..

 

 


Related Verses:

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36)