(Image: firefighters outside the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, via Wikimedia Commons)
My almost-five-year-old daughter came into the room as I was bent over the laptop.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Oh,” I said. I’m watching some very old news shows, about a scary thing that happened before you were born. I was a teenager at the time. I want to learn about it… I want to try to understand it. So I’m watching…”
“What’s all that smoke?” Rose asked.
I opened a new tab very quickly, but Rose had already seen the paused video. “Well… there were some very bad people. They were very, very angry people. They must have felt very afraid, to be so angry. Fear is often what makes a person very angry. And they wanted to hurt the United States– the country we live in, to hurt it as much as they possibly can. So they stole some airplanes, and crashed them into buildings.”
“Why?” Rose looked more confused than frightened.
“They wanted to hurt us. And they did; they killed thousands of…”
“Why?” Rose demanded, concerned and a little afraid now. “Why did they do it?”
“I think it was because they blamed America for problems in their own country. So they did this. And then there was a terrible war, a bad war we never should have had, lots of people died. Bad things never ever make good things happen. You should never do a bad thing because of a bad thing. Only good makes bad go away. Do you understand that?”
“That’s why war is so bad. It’s always a bad thing, even if we end up having to fight, because it’s people doing bad to each other and gets worse and worse. The only way to make good happen is to do good.”
Rose nodded again.
“There were all kinds of good people on that day too– there were firefighters who rescued as many people as they could. Even though it was terrible, some people were good. That’s what you have to do, when things are bad. Look for the helpers, and try to do good, and try to help if you can. Only good makes bad go away. And I know you’re very good, and you can do many good things, Rose.”
Now Rose looked offended. “I already knew that.”
Later that evening, we planned out how to do good. I suggested that we should put some food in the cooler outside the warming center in our town, where hungry people can get snacks after the shelter is closed for the night. Maybe some treats that they’d like to eat. Rose was excited to help; she said we should give them “cookies, and also healthy things.” We’ll go to the store tomorrow.
I only know of One who is good, but my daughter and I will follow Him.