9/11 Taught us to Love

Mommy: Why are those people jumping from the building?

Those words stand out to me more than any others from that day. My 3 year old seeing horrors, affliction, suffering, sadness. All caused from hate.

That day our lives changed. All of our lives changed. And we were each given the opportunity to choose whether we would cave into our fears. Or learn and grow towards love. 9/11 was scary. Incredibly scary. And THAT is exactly the point of terror. Terror is devised to terrorize others into submission. Terrorize others until they give into their fears. Freeze people into a state of nothingness. Fear wants us to remain voiceless. Fear wants us to hide and to remain invisible. Fear works to divide, destroy, and conquer.

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Love and fear cannot co-exist.

9/11 caused me to stop, reflect, and to feel (all the feels). Further, I made a vow to myself. I would NOT teach my children to fear, hate, nor stay away from those culturally, religiously, financially, nor humanly labeled different than us. And I would teach my children to make a conscious decision to get to know those our culture may have taught us to fear. We would listen to the stories of the “others”. We would seek to understand.

Most important, we would seek to grow into a mindset that does not label humanity as US vs THEM. We are good. THEY are evil. We would NOT fall into the trap of believing THAT political label is evil. OURS is the one claimed by God. God loves US more than THEM. WE are God’s children. THEY are not. We would seek to see people NOT as ‘others’, but as family.

9/11 catapulted me into a mindset in which I would raise my children to choose love.

As human beings, we have not loved perfectly. In fact, we have failed at love often. It has been in our failures that God has shown us HIS perfect love.

Do you know what happens when you get to know: THE OTHERS. THOSE PEOPLE. The ones you are told to stay away from? Do you know what happens when you listen to the stories of ‘the others’? You find out that we are all more alike than we are different. You find out that at the end of the day we all want love and we all want to love.

But of course. We are all children of God.

A God who loves perfectly. We are created in his image. The image of love. And as soon as we all begin to see US and THEM as brothers and sisters:  ALL his children, exactly the same. THEN! We will begin to be world shakers. Love warriors. Truth tellers. Believers in the good of humanity. Because inherently, humanity was created to be love personified.

WE. Are. All. God’s. Children.
Children of God.
ALL.

Terror did not win.

Terror did not win that day. Fear will not win.
God is love. God will win. and in the end,
God’s love is a win for
ALL…

WE will not forget the lives lost that day.

Nor will we forget the lives lost in the days that followed. Not American lives nor the lives of the others. ALL the others. WE will not forget. WE will learn. WE will grow.

Love. WILL. WIN.