A Hand to Hold

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
On 9/11, a young woman searches for a hand to hold.

Submitted: September 11, 2015

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Submitted: September 11, 2015



Nevaeh sat in her grandfather's lap as he bounced her up-and-down on one knee.  I waited, seated across from this family, for my friend to visit.  Nevaeh beamed in the sunlit apartment lobby that welcomed 'the thankful' home.  A one-year-old child with a curious smile, Nevaeh focused on me for a millisecond and gave me the greatest honor.  She called me, "Mama."  Maybe I look like her mom.  Nevaeh's grandmother expressed wholehearted shock as she described this behavior as uncharacteristic of her granddaughter.  "She's not usually friendly to new people," the grandma confessed.  Grandpa comforted me with his theory, "It's your spirit.  She likes your spirit."

Earlier in the day at Jummah, two young boys whose mom sat nearby chose me as a de facto babysitter.  They migrated toward me and brought their toys, an airplane and a race car.  Clasping my hand, the infant tested his strength.  Comparing the size of our hands, the four-year-old boy left defeated.  As if playing rock-paper-scissors, he had transformed his hand into a stone that I then covered with my hand, a glorious blank sheet.  We both knew the rules of the game and he retreated outdone.  I've never had delicate hands or shied away from competition.  I have my grandfather's hands and like him, I'm a soldier except my battlefield is a playground of ideologies.  May the best strategically placed argument win.

In religion, apparent division reveals the truth is one.  Authenticity paired with objectivity reign.  Even sad news is easier to accept with our hearts firmly rooted in the Hereafter.  That is where I plant seeds from good deeds to prayers of submission.  When suffering loss as today is the anniversary of 9/11, conflicting ideologies take center stage.  People present paradigms we can reject, but not ignore.  On this day, the news includes a calamity in Mecca.  Muslims making pilgrimage, dead or wounded due to a crane collapsing on the Grand Mosque, capture our attention.  Another tragedy with some headed toward the grave.  At this moment, I ask myself, "What are the final words I will hear before I leave this world?  Will a loved one call me mom or will I hear a recitation of the Qur'an?"  When I commend my spirit to You, Allah, make me among those who directly attain Paradise.  Nevaeh, the one-year-old girl whom I met 14 years after the September 11th attacks, bears a name that read from right-to-left spells heaven.  That's where we'll experience the summit of peace.  As the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, assured us, in this world, we are only travelers.  May those who traveled to Mecca to make Hajj taste the sublime through salvation.  May the bereaved find comfort and healing in a world that won't forget the presence of those who've faced death.  May the power of our shared humanity be lived as a human family.  Our hearts are with You.

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