How did Pastor Stephen Grant - the former CIA agent turned pastor - deal with the 9-11 terrorist attacks? The following excerpt comes from Chapter 16 in Warrior Monk: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel:
As Matins came to a close, Grant spoke the Collect for Grace from the Lutheran Service Book:
“O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have safely brought us to the beginning of this day. Defend us in the same with Your mighty power and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”
Each time Grant uttered this prayer, he thought about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Stephen had only been pastor for a few weeks, when two commercial jets were flown into the Twin Towers a mere 70 miles away in lower Manhattan. Less than an hour before the first plane hit, Grant had said essentially the same collect – just with “thy” from the old hymnal rather than “you” or “your” from the new one.
Other than when hearing about the death of his parents, Grant never felt so helpless as he did that day. The aftermath also marked the only extended period of time when he regretted leaving the CIA to become a pastor. He had longed, once again, to take action against the terrorists who threatened the United States. That regret lingered for several weeks, and finally evaporated after much prayer, confession and guidance from Grant’s bishop that got him re-centered on his faith and pastoral work.