Last week I was in a discussion
on a liberal blog about the new movie "Flight 93". At one point during the discussion I was asked how I plan to one day explain the events of 9/11 to my child, who is only 19 months old. I thought it was a great question worthy of its own post.
Nathan was born almost exactly three years after 9/11. I imagine he will probably be six or seven years old when he first starts asking about 9/11. I don't plan on bringing the topic up with him until he asks about it. But I'm not going to deliberately try to hide it from him either. He'll probably find out about it at school some day.
When the day comes that Nathan starts to ask about 9/11 I plan to explain it to him the best I can on a level his young mind can understand. I will tell him how many years ago the world took land away from the Muslims and gave it to the Jews. I will tell him that today the Muslims are angry and they hate the Jews, and by extention, they hate us because we support and defend the Jews. I'll tell him that three years before he was born, a group of Muslims stole some airplanes and flew them into buildings to attack us and our country. I'll tell him the people who did it were evil, but we shouldn't blame all Muslims for something a few jerks did.
It's going to break my heart to tell him these things because it will probably be the beginning of the end of his innocence. I imagine after I explain these things to him he will be terrified. It may be too much for a young mind to maturely process. He probably won't want to ride in airplanes. He probably won't want to go in tall buildings. He will probably panic whenever dad leaves to get on a plane and go on a business trip, which is often. You may ask how I intend to deal with the aftermath of this discussion.
The answer is Jesus and the Bible. I'm going to raise my son to understand there is good and evil in the world. He should know that there are people out there who want to kill him...kill us, because we were born in America and we worship Jesus. He will be told that we have nothing to fear, because God loves us and promises to protect us. He will be told that sometimes God does things that we cannot understand, like 9/11, but we have to trust that God's plan is good. Ultimately, we have nothing to fear. Jesus suffered and died on the cross so we wouldn't have to. Because of Him, we are forgiven of our sins and we can go to Heaven. Our time here is temporary and we should never fear death, because what awaits us after this world is greater than we could ever imagine. It is my prayer that he can understand these things, because if he can grow to be an honest God fearing man, I will have done my job as a parent.