I pray over my children all the time. Sometimes verbally and quite deliberately, other times just by breathing. Every time my daughters enter a new space or leave me, I look into their eyes and think, “God, please let them bless others and be safe.” I’m not alone in this. You do it too, don’t you? All of my friends pray for their kids, of this I’m sure. Mothers around the world pray for their children, whether it’s to the God of Israel, Allah, Buddha, or the universe. We pray from our deepest souls because our children are our hearts.
Today is September 11, more than a decade after attacks on United States forever altered our way of thinking. People who carried out the attacks are known to us as terrorist, monsters, cowards. Their use of violence, death, and destruction to make a point was a low point for humanity. We don’t want to see images of their faces or even hear their names. They represent to us all that is evil.
But on days like today I can’t help but think of their mothers. People who carry out deeds of hatred, like the 9/11 attacks, the massacre at Virginia Tech, the Cleveland kidnappings were once children. Children with mothers who loved them, hoped the best for them. How these women’s hearts must be broken!
I cannot ask you to forgive the deeds. If you’re able to forgive to doers, that’s between you and God. But, I encourage you… Pray for the mothers. Our sisters in motherhood. Women who, by and large, did what they could to raise compassionate, responsible, caring adults. Somewhere, something went awry. The children made choices that would ruin their own lives and kill others. Perhaps the mothers themselves failed their children. One cannot fathom the burden of guilt they are left to carry.
If we believe God is the God of forgiveness, that He sent His Son to die in our place, that He is able to redeem even at the moment of death, we can pray for these women. May they find in their hearts a yearning to seek God’s face. May they be filled with His peace. May they fall on their knees in reverence to the One who can banish that guilt and bring their hearts home to Him.
“We will never forget.” Never forget the cowardess and hatred that spawned these acts. Never forget the heroism that saved hundreds. Never forget the sacrifice of many in the name of rescue. Never forget the patriotism and pride in our nation and unity. Never forget the forgiveness given to us that we may forgive others.