This image. Of all the images of 9/11 that are out there (professional and our own), this is the one I’ll never forget. I was a new dad. He was just weeks away from his first birthday. Those eyes. The innocence. What kind of world would we raise him in now? Everything was about to change.

For awhile it did.

We were just getting familiar with “high speed” internet. Social media and the keyboards we hide behind didn’t exist yet. Our cell phones were dumb. Our TV’s were fat and we were all maybe a little thinner.

Not long after this picture was taken, I grabbed a dust covered bible and walked out to the deck at the first house my wife and I built. Not having a clue where to start, I opened up to psalms and began to read.

There were no planes in the sky. There was a slight breeze and I remember it like it was yesterday. I didn’t sleep well that night. The fear of protecting my wife and my small boy kept me up most of the night.

This year that little boy walks across a platform to receive a High School Diploma. Next year at this time he’ll be in his first week of his freshman year at a yet-to-be-determined University. I still can’t sleep some nights wondering how I can protect my wife and now three children.

Because our TV’s are thinner and we’re all a little bigger. Our cellphones are smart now and we hide behind keyboards on social media and say horrible things to one another. Actually, we don’t even hide behind keyboards anymore. Now we shout our beliefs so loud that our targets can’t even hear us.

And I think back to this picture

And the world we’ll raise him in.

And I won’t forget how for a moment we all pressed pause…..

To love our neighbor as ourselves. To open doors and show kindness. To hold those we love a little bit tighter.

The world changed that day.

And I won’t forget.