Today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I vividly remember watching the news in unbelief of what was happening and feeling the palatable fear and anger in the air. As I have skimmed through social media today, I have seen many posts on 9/11 ranging from political posts to tributes to the heroic actions of those who risked their lives to rescue ordinary people like you and me. Throughout the posts, videos, articles, and reflections though, something interesting has emerged. An emphasis this year seems to focus on the fact that there are now people for whom 9/11 is history like World War 2 and not something they experienced. I have read stories of adults who didn't know what had happened until much later because they were young when the attacks happened. There are those who are in high school now who have not known life in America when we were not at war and were not alive when the impetus for that war occurred. I have read posts from parents who lived through that terrible day and are asking the question "how do I talk to my kids about this"? While there are many answers out there, I would like to offer up a suggestion for Christians when it comes to the topic of talking about 9/11. Redeem it.
I recently saw a video on Facebook that interviewed three generations and asked them a simple question: What was (is) your favorite thing to do growing up? Grandparents and parents recounted stories of building forts, playing outside, fishing, and making a sled from an old sign. Then they asked the question to a group of kids ranging from about 7-10 years old. Their answers were quite different: video games, texting, spending time on the tablet and watching TV. I see this all the time in my generation of parents. If you kid is crying, hand them a phone and put something on. If you're having a conversation and they are there, parents place an electronic device in front of the kid and I watch in horror as a glazed trance overcomes the kids and they zone out. This is routine... not an abnormality, and I see it regularly with children as young as 4. Since this is my blog, I get to say what I think and you can choose to read or not read, but in my opinion, this is nothing but lazy derelict babysitting... not parenting. This is what one would expect from a 14 year old babysitter watching your kids while you are on a date with your spouse, not what one should expect from a parent who is forming a child and shaping them in a way that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
I came home yesterday after a long day and walked in the house to see my two year old daughter run out of the bedroom, but this time she looked different. He shirt was bulging out from her belly to her chest with the outline of a stuffed bear. I asked her "what is in your shirt"? She replied "bear"! "Why is bear in your shirt" I asked. She responded simply... "He's eating". To fully comprehend this story, you need to know that "bear" is her baby. She plays with him and kisses him and carries him around. About 15 minutes later, bear's head was poking out of the neck of her shirt. "I'm wearing bear" she said.
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh and Ainsley, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast