That Time I Ruined My 9 Year Olds Innocence/Life #Oklahoma #Tornado

Dear 9 year old…
The day I tweeted I was taking my whole family to work disaster relief in Moore Oklahoma somebody tweeted me back.
They said this…”Why would you subject your children to something that could ruin their innocence?”
You know what? They almost changed my mind.
I almost left you.
I was almost convinced that you could not handle the devastation.
I was almost convinced that you would somehow lose the innocence you have in your eyes.
I was almost convinced that you would somehow hate me later in life for showing you pain.
I was almost convicned you were supposed to stay weak.

Then we went.
I saw you shovel.
I saw you hug.
I saw you serve.
I saw you stack.
I saw you laugh.

And then the last night we were there I saw you cry.
It was while we were singing “And if our God is for us? Then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us? Then what could stand against?!!!!”
Your tiny 9 year old arms were raised to the sky and your tiny cheeks were the freeway for your tears.
That tweet came racing back to my mind as I asked you what was wrong…
In that moment fear sprinted into my heart.
You said…”I’m just sad daddy. They lost everything. I’m just sad.”

Oh yea.
It’s sad.
And it’s ok to be sad.
And it’s ok for you to be sad.

And it’s ok that you learned at nine years old, what myself, and most nine year olds in America won’t soon learn…
How to be the hands of the Healer.

When we left…
I was convinced you could handle the devastation.
I was convinced you kept the innocence in your eyes.
I was convinced you would thank me for showing you how to heal their pain with a smile.
I was convinced you became strong.

Thank you for showing me that at 9, you can literally change the world…
Daddy.