Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today on the 10th anniversary of 9.11.01, I had the privilege of being a part of our niece Melina's baptism. Rob and I are honored to be Melina's godparents. It was a special day to see this sweet baby dedicated.

The homily was beautiful and included one thing in particular that resonated with me. In asking how God could allow something as terrible as the terrorist attacks 10 years ago to happen, we have to remember that God created us to have free will. Without free will, we could be obedient. But we could never be GOOD. God wanted more for us. He wanted the glimmer of hope that we could be good and show love and humanity and be selfless. If he directed our every thought and step, sure, we would be obedient and tithe appropriately and refrain from violence and all the other things puppets can do. But our hearts would never pour love and ache with sorrow and leap with joy. Further, some people have wondered where God was during the attacks. I believe surely he was with the passengers of the hijacked flights, comforting them in their last moments. He was alongside the first responders, giving them strength to save an estimated 20,000 people from Manhattan--people who would have otherwise perished in the towers. He is guiding the paths of our soldiers, the less than 1% of our country's population fighting to defend and protect the remaining 99% on the front lines of a war that pushes on. He patiently listens to the lamentations of the wives, husbands, children, parents, brothers, sisters and friends of our soldiers who are left to wonder when their loved one will be home. He is helping the widows and widowers and parent-less children pick up the pieces when they realize their loved one isn't coming back. When I think of all the places Jesus is, I remember one of the most telling verses in the Good Book.

"Jesus wept." ...John 11:35

No one knows heartache and sorrow the way Jesus does. He gently comforts us in His good time and slowly but surely heals the broken hearts of His children.

I wanted to talk to Rowen about this anniversary so he has a sense of sacrifice and duty to country. Most importantly, I want him to feel compelled to say "thank you" to those who serve and protect us. I talked with him about the attacks on Friday and did my best to explain this evil and senseless loss of lives to a 3 year old. I didn't want him to be scared so I just stuck to the basics. Rowen had some thoughtful questions, like "Did the mean people kill heaven?" It really gave me new insight to what it might be like to live in a world forever changed by 9/11 yet not at all know what that meant.
We decided to pay tribute to the anniversary by taking our neighborhood firefighters cookies on Saturday morning. When he walked up to the firehouse, he just started right in with the nice guy who was standing outside. He joyfully exclaimed,

"I brought you some treats!
These are cookies.
They are sugar cookies.
(After a long pause)
I had just one."

Then after a little reminder from mama,

"Thank you for protecting us."

But by this time, he already has his eyes on the shiny red fire engine in the background, which the firemen were gracious enough to show him around.

It has been a somber and thoughtful time, and rightfully so. But at the end of this day, I'm still so very grateful for this beautiful life.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said! Thanks, Meryl! We miss you guys! Aimee