Margie Briggs is a United Methodist volunteer from Missouri who served at the listening post which was set up at Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church in the weeks following September 11. When UMCOR staff asked Margie to share some of the encounters she had with people while she was here, she told us the following two stories:
"We were on the sidewalk in front of the church serving hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. A man in a business suit stopped and asked, "Why isn't the church open?" I told him it was open from 1-5pm every day. He said that he would schedule his lunch the next day so he could go inside. "I work right over there," he said, pointing across the street. I walked with him to the corner and he stopped and said, "You know, I stood right here and watched them fall." Tears started running down his face. "None of us here are ever going to be the same." Then he asked me where I was from. I told him a small rural town in Missouri. "You came all the way here?" he asked. "Yes," I said, "we wanted to let you know we cared." With tears still on his face he gave me a hug and said, "Thank you so much for being here." If I hadn't done anything else while I was in New York City, it was worth it to be there for him that day.
There was a little lady that went by the church several times and would stop and look in. Finally I said to her, "would you like to go in?" "Can I?" she asked. "Of course you can," I said, "Would you like me to go with you?" "Yes, that would be nice," she said. We went into the church and sat down. No words were needed. We just sat in silence. At one point she reached over and grabbed my hand, and we just sat there holding hands. She asked me if I would pray, so we prayed together. I told her that counseling was available if she would like it. She said that she would, and I referred her to a counselor.
Photo Credit: copyright © Diana Barnett, September 2001, Used by permission. The picture(s) on this page was taken in Manhattan within a week after the collapse of the World Trade Center. Click on the photo to see a larger version.