Hold Us Together

I love this country. Sometimes I feel frustrated and upset at things I see on the news. Sometimes I feel happy and proud. It’s like any family.  We are all different, but yet we stick together. At least we used to…

I was in 5th grade when we were attacked on Sept. 11th. I remember being scared, even though I was in Redmond, WA… a safe 3,000 miles away. I remember feeling numb as I walked down the hallway, to the sounds of the news reporting the attack. I remember feeling sad, and though I didn’t know anyone who died, it felt like I was personally affected. When I walked to school, I held my best friend’s hand like my life depended on it. The whole day at school, my teacher kept the news on, and I remember thinking, “What a horrible accident.”… In my 11 year old mind, it did not occur to me that someone would intentionally hurt not just one person, but thousands of people they didn’t even know. I didn’t know what terrorism was…

For the past 12 years, I have not been able to see an airplane in the sky without thinking, “that plane is flying too low.” It’s a knee-jerk reaction, and rationally, I know that the likelihood of an attack via airplane is slim to none… I am very vocal about the ridiculousness of giving up the ability to bring mouthwash in my carry-on without buying a special container. But through the years, I have never forgotten what terrorism is…

But something has changed.

In 2001, I do not remember Americans turning on each other. We didn’t say, “Oh, I bet it’s a right-winger” or “Some left-wing lunatic at it again.”… We didn’t place blame, or I should say the majority of us didn’t place blame on one another. But now, after the bombing in Boston, we are not coming together. Somehow, we have decided that the label Democrat or Republican trumps that of the uniting American label, and the chance to jab one another on policy issues is just too tempting to let pass.

In 2001, we held hands with strangers. We stood in line for hours to give blood. We went back to church…

This whole week has felt like wave after wave of tragedy. It’s heartbreaking, but you know, healing comes after a break. I don’t know why this has happened, but I pray that something good comes from it. I hope that we can come together and love another. I pray that we can turn to God and love His Word. 

“It was good for me to be afflicted    

so that I might learn your decrees.”          

                            —Psalm 119:71



The whole point of terrorism is to make people afraid. You don’t know when or how the next strike will come. Panic rises and society reacts to the events, and the terrorist is in control.

I’m not saying that it is wrong to be afraid. It’s actually natural, and sometimes fear is a good thing. However, to be so gripped by fear that you change your daily life because of a single occurrence is ridiculous. You are no more or less safe from one day to the next. The only thing that you give up when you give in to fear is control.

When some crazy guys flew planes into buildings, we gave up the ability to put shampoo in our carry-ons.

When a lone shooter went into a elementary school and killed children, we were willing to give up our 2nd amendment right.

So now that some guys have put explosives in pressure cookers in Boston, are we going to give up our kitchen items?

That would be silly…

After World War 2, many mothers began to give up everything so that they could raise their children and keep them safe from the horrors of war their husbands and brothers experienced. Even though they were capable of being in the workforce, they wanted to make sure that their kids didn’t have to go through what they went through. Does this sound familiar?
However, when those children grew up, they felt smothered. That’s why in the 60s you see the sexual revolution, with hippies and drugs and rock and roll. And when the time came for that generation to fight in the Vietnam war, they ran to Canada to dodge the draft. They ridiculed and shunned those brave enough to answer the call.

Is that what we want to happen to our children? Do we want to give up our rights because we’re afraid?

I don’t.

Maybe it’s because I have faith that God is real and that He loves me, that I’m not gripped by fear of death. I mean, yes, there are many things I’d like to do, but just as St. Paul said, “To die is gain, to live is Christ.” Even if I were to die before hitting “publish” I know I’ll be in a much better place than I am right now. So, no, I’m not afraid. I’m sad for those who are suffering and for the families that are grieving… but I’m not afraid. I know that my God is bigger than any problem, more powerful than any explosion. And I know that I am safe in His arms. I pray that everyone can find and know this peace, and this love.

He is waiting to rescue you from all fear.

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” —Psalm 34:4