Nine Years

Remember when you could see someone off at the airport – all the way to the gate?  I never would have had the courage to face my first flight alone if my father hadn’t been practically holding my hand all the way to the little hall that leads to the plane. And I was a teenager.

Fast forward a few years.  I have two little girls, aged 5 and 3 1/2, wearing backpacks. They’re hanging tightly onto Mama and don’t want to go through the metal detectors alone.  Nor do they want to have their precious backpacks taken away, put on a conveyor belt and disappear into a dark hole. Nor do they want their shoes removed. I shove them through, crying, one at a time, and then try to get two little pairs of shoes on without the benefits of chairs or a space where we won’t be stepped on, grab their backpacks, my backpack and two little hands and take off for the gate. By this time I’m almost in tears. I’m doing this all alone because my husband, with the younger two children (aged infant and 2), is heading back through the busy Sea-Tac airport to the van.  [We were in the process of moving across the country and grandparents had volunteered to host the older two for 2 weeks during the process.]

Why the difference?


The most dramatic part lasted for a day, hours even.  But the ramifications will last forever.  We do not live in the same world.*  We live in a world in which people are suspected of shoving explosives in their children’s shoes.  In which mothers are suspected of disguising liquid explosives in bottles as breast milk.

Lord have mercy.

I detailed my personal experiences on 9/11 in another post.  I won’t do that again here. Today let us pray for the souls of those killed on September 11, 2001.  But let us also pray for ourselves, that we might not be tempted to hate.  Because it is all too easy to hate the people that brought it about.  But aren’t we all made in the image and likeness of God? Even the hijackers? Even the Muslims who were videotaped dancing and laughing in the streets when the news was spread world-wide? Even the people who defaced and burned churches and mosques alike?

Yes. And that is a hard thing to accept.

But we are no more worthy of mercy than any.

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!

*In fairness, I will admit that is an Americentric view. My world changed. There are many millions of people world-wide who live in fear every. single. day. I have not forgotten that.

2 thoughts on “Nine Years

  1. That is a beautiful post. 9/11 certainly changed the US forever. I will never forget where I was when I first heard and the fear I had for my family as they were in NY and I was half way across the country at college. It was terrifying. Thanks for sharing this.


  2. I know what you mean about air ports. I once had to remove my baby from a tied wrap (because they had to make sure I wasn't concealing anything in the wrap) and juggle the luggage by myself because my husband had been selected for one of those thorough inspections.

    But you're right in your end note. That's what I was thinking that day: now we live in the fear that many in the rest of the world live in daily.

    The world is indeed not the same.


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