Reflections from a New Father, as of 9/11/01

October 9th, 2009


My second daughter was born on 9-11-01 at 4:41 pm. I have sent along a copy of an article I wrote for our church bulletin:

I have looked forward to writing this article for . . . oh . . . about nine months,and I had hoped that they would be joyous words devoted totally to my gratitude to the Father for bestowing the same title upon me . . .again. Indeed, I am thankful that Anna Belle Skidmore was born on September 11, 2001 (7lbs., 13 oz. and 20 inches long with red hair and blue eyes like her sister), but my heart is heavy that as our family added a member, so many lost those whom they had brought into this world. The world Anna Belle was welcomed into is a different world than the one that awaited her one day earlier, but I have to reflect on the words of the doctor as she held my daughter in the air for her first unaided breath as a TV over our bed told of the unfolding drama, horror, and tragedy. She turned to everyone in the room and said, “May this child be a reminder of who is really in control of our world.”

The day of her birth will always be connected with memories and memorials of death, but on 4:41 pm on Tuesday, as images of death engulfed our minds, God made His way intothe world . . . in our midst . . . among us . . . as He did so many years ago . . . in the image of a child. I received an e-mail from a friend who shared a very poignant thought. He said that although the date of her birth might forever be associated with the events of that day, it would be such a blessing to know that it might also be the same day that marked the beginning of a re-birth of an awareness of God in our nation, in our schools, and in our homes.

On the way to the church to write these words, I heard the “Star Spangled Banner” being played on the radio. On either side of the road were flags hung by the doors of several houses — one even hand drawn by a child, but I have to trust that it is not only the flag to which we gained a greater allegiance this day, but also we became aware of our need for our nation to truly be “under God.” If July 4th is our Independence Day, perhaps September 11th should become our “Dependence Day” . . . a moment in which we as a nation came to realize that our total hope, future, and lives were placed more securely in His hands.

I, as my new daughter, began a new life on Tuesday . . .and just as Anna Belle, I was pulled from a place of safety, security, andpeace into a tragic, scary, unpredictable and hostile world.

Anna Belle was born into uncertainty, but immediately placed into the hands of a father whose main desire was to protect her, provide for her, and promise her a rich future. Her story is my story . . . and yours. We are frail, tiny, and vulnerable, and our physical lives come with no guarantees, but that part of us most carefully created in His image is safe in the hands of a protecting, providing and promising Father. September 11th will always, in one special way, be a celebration of life for this father. My prayer is that history will look back and one day celebrate it as a day of renewed life toward our Father. Another friend sent me these words in a simple but powerful note: “On a day in which everyone is asking 'Why would God ever let this happen?' . . . perhaps we should look at you holding your daughter and ask the very same question.”

Copyright 2001 David Skidmore


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