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Remembering London

by Natissa Scott

In July of 2005, I sat in a London flat eating a bowl of my favorite cereal, Weetos, while watching the morning cartoons with my cousin. Without warning, my aunt grabbed the remote from the coffee table and flipped the channel to BBC. Before we had a chance to protest, my cousin and I became transfixed by the events unfolding onscreen. Weetos forgotten, I stared openmouthed at the “telly.” Did the reporter really say explosion? Was that really the sorry remains of a double-decker bus onscreen? And the tube (English-speak for the subway)! The people! I looked over at my cousin who seemed just as shocked and confused as I was.

My cousin and I were both vacationing in London with our aunt for the summer. Having been to London before, we had both agreed that riding the double-decker buses and the frequent rides on the tube were what made our previous trip such a fun and memorable experience. As a matter of fact, we had been getting ready to leave the flat to begin a new adventure in the city! Then it suddenly occurred to me, What if our bus had been the one that suddenly exploded? Or our car on the tube the one to blow up into a mangled mess?

My dad, who was back home in the Caribbean, was tuned in to the BBC, listening to the sports news, when he had his broadcast on the new Arsenal signings interrupted by the breaking news unfolding in Tavistock Square and at the tube. He apparently asked himself those same questions that had occurred to me, because while the telly blared with updates on the apparent act of terrorism, my aunt’s laptop buzzed. My dad had decided to video call to forbid us to ride any of our beloved double-decker buses. It didn’t even particularly matter because both the London Underground and the buses in Zone One—where we were staying—were closed, and we weren’t particularly excited to travel on them, either.

A few weeks later, my father flew to London to personally enforce this rule. At the young age of 7, I was mostly confused, disappointed, and a little annoyed that we drove everywhere using the black cabs. And then, even at the train station, the grown-ups seemed to be paranoid, asking us seemingly ridiculous questions and warning us to report to them if we saw a lonely backpack or piece of luggage, as if we couldn’t read the numerous signs plastered around the train station with captions like: “Who Owns This Bag? If you suspect it, report it.”

Never again did I ride a double-decker bus because although we returned to England the following summer, we vacationed in Kent in favor of London. Only sitting in history class years later did the events of the summer of 2005 make sense in my head.

On July 7, 2005, London was subjected to the worst terrorist attack in the United Kingdom since the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. I didn’t realize it, but that summer vacation allowed me to live through a piece of history. Yet surprisingly, the events that occurred shouldn’t have come as a shock. Wasn’t the United States subject to terrorist attacks a mere four years earlier on September 11, 2001? What about Moscow in 2002? Morocco in 2003? And similarly, Madrid in 2004?

As sad and horrific as all these events were and still are, they were prophesied in the Bible centuries before they actually happened! Amazing! 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (KJV). That day in England, I was totally relaxed and unaware of any impending danger during my summer vacation. Probably the 52 people who were killed and the 700 more who were injured had had the same false sense of peace and safety the Bible warns about. Ultimately, they did not escape the prophesied destruction.

In Mark 13:8, Jesus Himself warns His disciples about the events that will occur near the end of time. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.” (KJV). The terrorist attacks that occurred in London that day, as well as the more recent attacks like the January 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris,show us that these terrible world events are going to happen, for they are part of the troubles mentioned in Mark 13. Fortunately, we know that these are signs of the times and should be endured with the knowledge of the blessed hope that Jesus is coming soon!

And when He does, there will be no more terrorist attacks, death, pain, or sorrow. I can’t wait for that day; I hope you can’t, either.

Natissa Scott writes from East Patchogue, New York, and attends the Patchogue SDA Church. She enjoys playing football (soccer), running track, and reading and writing stories.

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