(Warning: This post may seem controversial or offensive -- it is not my intention to upset or offend anyone with this sensitive topic.)
Most of us who were over the age of 6 or 7 when major world events took place can remember where we were as those moments in time unfolded...
The Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.
Princess Diana's death.
My grandfather was 7 when the Titanic sank, and in a conversation I had with him months before his death at the age of 93, he could remember hearing about it.
On each anniversary of those events, one of the most frequently asked questions is "Where were you on that day, what were you doing?"
I remember Sept 11th 2001 as though it was only yesterday. It was our oldest son's 5th birthday, he was in his second week of Kindergarten. I was 34 weeks pregnant with our youngest, and in pre-term labor yet again. I dropped our 3 year old son off to the babysitter and picked my mom up on the way to the hospital.
When my mom got into the car, she shared that something terrible had happened in New York City, a plane had crashed into a skyscraper moments earlier.
As we drove to the hospital, we wondered how such a thing could have happened, and we were greatly concerned for all those whose lives would be affected by this disaster. The previous day, I had given my maternity leave notice to my employer, a major airline. I couldn't have imagined being at work that day or in the days to follow.
The rest of the day was spent in the Labor & Delivery unit, attempting to keep labor off as it was too early for this baby to be born. From time to time, we heard bits and pieces of news and updates from the nurses, who were probably doing their best not to alarm us so that the stress and concern wouldn't worsen the contractions. From what we were told, the world was coming to an end.
With labor held off once again, I went home on bedrest. I would not be returning to work until the end of my maternity leave 13 months later.
At home, we watched the news replayed from earlier that day, and sat in stunned silence at what was determined to be an act of terrorism on innocent people. I remember wondering what kind of world I was bringing a child into.
I wasn't the only one with questions.
So many of us wondered "How could this happen?"
I know many people were asking God where HE was that day...
The devastation of Sept 11th 2001 is still fresh in my mind ten years later, and will likely always be. And yet what I struggle with, still, is that while there were several thousand innocent lives lost that day, there are nearly 20,000 innocent children who die of completely preventable causes every single day... Not just on Sept 11th, but every.single.day... without a single headline, without memorials, without the outrage of the rest of the world demanding justice for these precious children.
God has questions for us too.
Where are we each day while these children die?
How could this happen?
Please, don't misunderstand my heart -- it is not my intention to take away from the severity and tragedy of the losses experienced in the tragic events of Sept 11th 2001 -- we suffered greatly at the hands of these terrorists. I simply can't help but know that we, as a world, also suffer terribly, even unaware, as the world's children die by the thousands each day when it is within our power to turn the tide and save lives.
We want those in charge to be held accountable for the losses of Sept 11th... many still seek vengeance, justice, answers.
How will we respond when we are ALL held accountable for the children God commands us to feed, clothe and protect?
On Sept 11th, 2001, I wondered what kind of world we were bringing our children into, but today, I no longer wonder what kind of world I've brought my children into. God is asking me instead what kind of example I will lead them with.