In denying God's existence, I did more than reject Him - I rejected myself too.
I had been continuing my work documenting the hoped-for rescue and ongoing recovery efforts taking place at the World Financial Center due to the terrorist attacks on freedom that occurred nearly three months early on that perfect blue-skied morning of September 11th, 2001.
Three months had gone after the attack, and though the 'pit' - Ground Zero was draped in thick layers of floating carbon and ash that ascended past the clouds, the weather had not interfered with the indefatigable first-responders and steel worker efforts that were taking place.
Then December 7th showed up, and with it hail ice balls as big as golf balls that pounded on your body while you tried to balance your feet in the grey sludge of broken-down carbon that could have been just about anything. My mind still shudders at this thought.
It was in the early evening while I was in the middle of the pit that something happened to me that till this day still remains deeply personal. Perhaps one day I will share it, but for now, I will keep it to myself.
Needless to say, what occurred was very difficult for my sensors - my sight, my smell, my taste, my taste - I wish I never experienced what I did.
Literally and figuratively in shock, two friends I was with were smart enough to take me to Trinity Church - one of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in New York - that sits atop the slopping hill of Wall Street.
It was there, and upon entering the church and seeing the symbolic cross of Jesus of Nazareth that I began to rage within. My anger caused me to begin screaming at the crucifix that if God existed, he would not have allowed for the September 11th, 2001 attacks - when I lost 72 friends - to have occurred.
My words were harsh, crude, and cruel. They were words not simply doubting God's existence, how the whole thing - faith - was just one big horrific joke played on humanity.
And on and on I raged, screaming in the middle of the night dimly light in candles, the scent of the floating carbon of Ground Zero filling my nostrils, covering my face, my hands, and any other part of flesh exposed to the burnt air.
I remember throwing dozens of the church missalette's toward the alter as I voiced my anger over the suffering and horrors of Ground Zero.
In the middle of my rage, I remember shouting (with lots of vulgarity) that I simply wanted to go home - and that I no longer wanted to play the role requested on me to record for prosperity the events that were taking place.
In the middle of my rage - I remember feeling something very surreal cloak my spirit, covering my spiritual body in a warmth and love I have ever known.
It was so strange: literally at the height of my rage God shows up.
And everything was okay.
Now I must say, I was not looking to begin a journey on the road to Damascus. Far from it.
But in His own way, He had other plans for me, and that included an understanding that His plans are much more extensive than anything I could ever understand.
In coverning me with His love, He provided to me a deep sense of strength and clarity. Some of what He provided to me are strenghts that I use today with my work trying to assist families in crisis.
Moving forward nearly 10 hours, and near 7:00 a.m. that morning, I remember leaving Trinity Church. Yes - I was inside Trinity all night.
What was I doing?
Seated in the second row inside Trinity, I was writing the story that God does exist in each of us - and that our God - is much bigger than one religion.
Whatever you may want to think covered me in the midst of my rage - causing my anger to immediately stop and have my heart open - I know it was God's touch coupled with my belief in each of us.
CLONING CHRIST. It is a multi-layered theological thriller I am very proud to share with each of you for it is a story more than anything about a man coming back to the House of God.
And in the spirit of the God I worship, please know that should you desire to purchase a copy of Cloning Christ, 100% of all e-book purchases are donated to the I CARE Foundation in order to assist children at risk. Also know that if you can't afford a copy of this book, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do what I can to get you a free copy.
On this Holy Easter Sunday, I wish to each of you God's Blessings.
-Peter Thomas Senese -
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