My children have no memory of September 11, 2001. Micah was 20 months old that day. Jake would be birthed a month and a half later. Caleb? Not even on the horizon. For each of our children, the date of September 11, 2001 is a historical date, much like the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
However, when we talk about what happened that tragic day, Micah, and Jake and Caleb, especially, are completely flummoxed and utterly horrified. They have little to no experience with the harsh, cruel, punitive behavior of humankind. Their innocence is heartening. Our children are blessed to live in an environment of loving acceptance – where our family values of loving God and loving others is experienced day-in-and-day-out in a variety of ways. We have instilled the belief in our children that people are made in the image of God and are loved wholly and completely by Him. Thus, we follow His example – and love people too – as best we can – no matter who they are.
I’d honestly like to see more of this generous, boundless love that Micah, Jake and Caleb expect – seventeen years on from 9/11 – in our world today.
What kind of tangible love am I talking about?
Well, I’ve made a list:
More hugs to the lonely.
More encouragement to the downcast.
More adoration heaped upon our husbands and wives.
More respect to our elders.
More care to our neighbors.
More delight of our children and their wonderfully unique way of being.
More admiration of those who have sacrificed for our benefit.
More blessing to the poor and downtrodden.
More esteem of our friends and all that they have overcome.
More forgiveness of those we fault and condemn.
More reaching out to the ailing and ill.
More listening to those who hold different views.
More inspiration and wonder in others’ talent and creativity.
More trust in those we seek and need to understand.
More enjoyment of time – and slowing down enough to enjoy and relish good company, too.
More sympathizing with those who suffer.
More patience and generosity to those who may not deserve it.
We remember 9/11 because of a precious family that lost their daddy, husband, son, brother, and friend that day. Yet, as I look upon the beautiful Cayne family 17 years onward, I see a family shaped and strengthened by their father’s love. I observe a family bound together by compassion, grace, and resolute trust. They inspire me.
And that’s how I want to live out my days here on earth – loving others more. This is how I want to remember and honor the families of 9/11 and all those affected by the malevolent actions of others.
Maybe you do, too?
We choose to love people more – in whatever way they need our love.
On this precious day of remembrance, September 11, 2018, will you join me in loving those in our sphere of influence more in some purposeful, grace-giving way?
Do you want to see more love in this world?
If yes, then…
love starts with us.