I keep seeing him over and over in my mind. I only caught a quick glimpse of him on the TV. A man. A father with a baby in his arms. One hand under the child’s bottom, the other cupping the back of a little head. He was running. Actually, he was fleeing. A bomb had just gone off.
It wasn’t that long ago possible terrorist attacks and security concerns were a part of my daily life. I was on constant alert. I kept my eyes open for anyone or anything unusual onboard my aircraft. I memorized the steps to fight a fire, access a “suspicious device,” take down an aggressor. Once, I even found razor blades hidden in the forward galley of a 737. I knew the risks, but I wasn’t afraid.
That was before I had children. I can’t imagine what kind of fear knowing your child is in danger must produce. Thankfully, I can’t imagine. I realized this week how much I take our assumed safety for granted. I realized how little I pray for my family’s safety.
And so a question…Should I change the way I live? Should I avoid large gatherings of people? Should I stay home, close the blinds and pray? I mean, only pray? Of course, the quick answer is “NO,” but the real answer is somewhere in the middle. We should certainly pray. Pray for our families. Pray for our police officers, fighter fighters and first responders. Pray for our victims. Maybe even pray for our enemies. But I’ve decided I won’t pray out of fear.
And I’m going to go out into the world with my children and live. Don’t be naive and don’t be reckless. Have an emergency plan. Keep your eyes open. Be aware of your surroundings.
And “keep in mind the closest usable exit may be located behind you…”