September 11, Essay Hug, Love, Live

2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The simple question continues to echo through my mind hours later.

“What is it, Mommy?” my nine-year-old daughter, Katherine, asked. “What
is it that makes some people do something so awful! What is it?”

The day was dawning as she questioned me. We were standing in
our front yard, the sky turning from grey to blue as we prepared
to take her to school. She looked up at me, her deep blue eyes
round, her innocent face expectantly waiting for an answer. Her
expression said “Mommy will know the answer. My Mommy can
take care of anything.”

I paused, looking towards the sky. The same sky that had just
carried passenger planes turned weapons of destruction plowing
into American targets. Targets I had seen personally. Targets I
could remember being built as a child in New Jersey. Targets that
are visual icons of New York and Washington, DC.

“Fear. Hatred. Misunderstanding. And the desire to keep people in
fear, hatred and misunderstanding.” I looked at my daughter, who
at nine is wise beyond her years. She was slowly nodding. I
continued: “People know if you are afraid, you can not feel love.
If you can not feel love, you can not feel peace. These people do
not want us to feel peace or love. They want to control us. We
won’t let them do that, though, will we?”

In a very short conversation, Katherine had brought my resolve
firmly back to me. She reminded me of a very important lesson
that lives deep within me. In the moments after I heard of the
devastation that was occurring so close to where I had grown
up, I was frightened to the point of near hysteria. I paced,
frantically worried about my children, my friends, my safety, my
country, my world.

Katherine reminded me that I could not feel fear AND feel love
at the same time. As I listened to reports from survivors, I heard
gratitude in their words. I heard an unusual peace. I heard light
among the tragedy.

We can love as we grieve the senseless loss of so many lives. We
can love as we pray. We can love as we donate time, blood and
money to the Red Cross and other charitable organizations. We
can love as we talk to complete strangers as we sort out our own
feelings about the tragedy. We can love as we hug our children,
friends and neighbors. We can love as we take an extra moment
to simply feel grateful for each breath. For each moment. For each
person whose lives we touch positively. We can love as we put
one foot in front of the other. We can love as we choose to trust.
We can love as we serve our fellow world citizens.

Later this afternoon I was with Emma, my four year old daughter at
the park. She came to me and I gave her a big hug. She looked at
me and stated simply: “A plane flew into a building. Lots of people
died. Lets talk about it”.

So we did. Plainly and with the vocabulary of a preschooler we
talked about what had taken place in New York City. She went
back to playing.

She returned to me and said, “Mommy, give me a nice big hug so
the bad guys can’t get me.”

So I did. Hug. Love. Keep the bad guys away. And when the bad
guys come anyway remember to hug. To Love. To trust. To feel
peace deep within you.

Hug. Love. Live.
July 07, 2005 Julie Jordan Scott

Published in: Uncategorized on September 11, 2009 at 8:58 am  Comments (3)  
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