Well today is 9/11 a day that I will never forget as long as I live. I can not believe it has been 7 years since it happened, it feels like it just happened maybe not a few days ago or even a few months ago but I remember it like it was just yesterday. I was thinking of the families and friends who lost their loved ones today and then I saw this story for children and decided that I needed to share this with you. I hope you enjoy!
The Glowers A 9/11 story for children
By Marc Gellman
Sept. 11, 2006 - This story, a conversation between two angels, is from Rabbi Marc Gellman's book 'And God Cried Too.' (HarperCollins, 2002) Gabe is a teaching angel and Mikey is a young angel in training.
Gabe was the first to show Mikey the Glowers. On one of those really clear and beautiful nights where you can see half way to forever, Gabe and Mikey were sitting on a cloud watching the sun set and the night take over from the day. The sky was red and orange and purple and yellow and blue all at the same time, and all changing every minute. When the light of the day finally got lost over the edge of the world Gabe said to Mikey, "Heaven is beautiful but there is almost nothing in Heaven as beautiful as this."
"Yeah," said Mikey. Sunsets rock."
"What?" asked Gabe.
"Never mind. I forget sometimes how old you are."
"Look down there Mikey and tell me what you see." said Gabe. Mikey looked and looked and said, "Nothing! I see nothing, except for some lights in the dark down there."
"What kinds of lights do you see?" Gabe asked.
"Nothing special. I see street lights and car headlights and the lights from a new Burger place just opening up, and...I see some other lights but I don't know what they are exactly."
"Look harder, Mikey. Look at the lights that have nothing to do with cars or burgers. Look at those lights again." Gabe said.
"OKAY GABE! Cut it out. If there is something you want me to see you better show it to me, because I am just a dumb little angel and you are big and old and smart."
Gabe laughed and said, "Follow me down there." Gabe dived off the cloud the way you would dive into a pool and Mikey dove right after him. When they were close to the ground but still up in the air Gabe said to Mikey, "Follow the brightest lights little angel, follow the brightest lights."
Mikey squinted his eyes and said, "Yeah the brightest lights are coming from that building over there. It must be one of those car stores or maybe the opening of a new restaurant. No, wait, its not that…its…I can't see without going closer where those lights are coming from."
"So go closer and you will see." Gabe said. They swooped down to the street where Mikey saw that the bright lights were coming from the faces of the people who were serving food to poor people who were hungry but had no money to buy food."
"They call it a soup kitchen even though they serve more than soup." Gabe explained.
"Yikes," screamed Mikey, "Who lit up those people."
"God lit them up." Said Gabe, "Well really it's the good in them that lights them up and God made people so that the more good they do the more they glow. When a person does a little good in their life, they glow a little and when they do a lot of good, they glow a lot. We angels call the good-deed-doing-people Glowers. The big Glowers shine so brightly that we can see them from Heaven."
"WOW," said Mikey. "Can other people see the Glowers?"
"No, and that is too bad. People can see things (and some bugs and fish) that glow, but only angels (and of course God) can see people that glow."
"The color of the Glowers looks familiar to me," said Mikey. "Its kind of yellow with a little orange and blue in it. I have seen that color somewhere before."
"Yes you have," said Gabe. "The color of the Glowers is the same color as the glow that comes from the place in Heaven that is closest to God."
"This is cool." said Mikey.
"Way cool." said Gabe.
After that night Mikey would gather with his friends to watch the sun set on earth and to count the Glowers. Even though Mikey learned how to spot Glowers during the day, it was always easier to see them at night. No light bulb or headlight, or Burger joint had the same color as the Glowers.
One bright morning on September 11th, 2001, Mikey saw millions of angels flying over to one place. He flew with them and saw that Gabe was standing there with all the other angels and he asked Gabe, "What's going on?" Gabe said nothing for a while and then, with tears streaming down his cheeks, he said quietly, "A very bad thing just happened down there on earth! We are getting ready to go down there and help. This is a big emergency. God is sending all the spare angels and even the angels in training down to earth to help."
Then a horn sounded in Heaven and suddenly millions of angels were diving off clouds and flying down to earth. On the way down to earth Gabe explained to Mikey that some very angry people had just flown some big jet airplanes into the two tallest and biggest buildings in New York City, and into a building in Washington D.C. They were about to crash another plane somewhere else, but the people on that plane stopped them by crashing the plane into an empty field in Pennsylvania. "Many thousands of people were killed this morning," Gabe said, "It is very sad. It is very bad. We need to be down there to help all the people who are dying and hurt and scared."
"I'm scared too." Said Mikey. "Who is gonna help me?"
"God is going to help all of us, but it is going to take time and it is going to be hard," said Gabe. They flew on in the flood of angels like little fish in a big school of fish swimming very fast together. Finally Gabe and Mikey got to the place in New York City where the buildings had been hit by the planes but before the buildings crashed down. They flew right into the upper floors, above where the planes hit. There was smoke and fire everywhere. People were screaming, "Help us! Help us!"
"Go help them little angel. Go help them!" Gabe said as he flew off into the smoke and fire and dust. Mikey walked through a door and saw a Glower call his wife on his cell phone and say to her, "Honey, I love you. I will see you in Heaven." Then he hung up his phone and fell over from the smoke. Mikey breathed into his mouth but the man was already dead. Just then something bumped into Mikey from behind and said, "Mikey move it or lose it!" It was Gabe leading a firefighter who was carrying a man down the stairs.
Mikey didn't know which way to turn and then he saw a dog. It was a guide dog leading a blind man but the dog was coughing and the man was coughing and they could not find their way out. "Follow me!" Mikey said to the dog in dog (Mikey spoke pretty good dog). Mikey led the dog and the man hanging onto the dog's collar to the stairs and they started to walk down. The stairs were filled with angels and Glowers and people coughing and crying and screaming. Mikey had never seen anything like it ever, ever, ever. They walked down stairs and stairs. The dog said to Mikey "I am scared and my throat hurts." Mikey said, "Don't worry we are going to get out of here. Keep going, just keep going down these stairs." After a few minutes that seemed like a few hours they got down to the ground and ran out into the street. The street was not much better but the smoke and dust were not as bad. Gabe was down there already and screamed at Mikey, "Get them away from the buildings NOW!" They ran and ran and got to a place where some fire fighters and police were helping people. They gave water to the dog and the blind man said, "Honey thank you. Good dog. Was somebody leading you?" Honey the guide dog said Woof! Which means, "Angel!" in dog. Mikey smiled but then flew back into the building again and again trying to help people get out.
Suddenly a huge roar and rumble shook the building and it began to crash down. Mikey flew out a window and saw the building crash down. Angels were flying everywhere but through the dust Mikey could see the Glowers helping people on the street. And then Mikey saw a tower of sparks flying up from the ground and through the dust and smoke and into the air and straight up, higher and higher.
"God is taking them straight to Heaven." Gabe said choking on his tears. "Those sparks are the souls of all the people who died here today. God is taking them straight up to Heaven. Almost always when a person dies the angel who watched over that person takes his or her soul to Heaven but today, Mikey it is God who is taking them all up to Heaven. What a terrible and sad day."
"I will never understand this." Mikey said softly.
"Nobody understands this." Gabe said, "Let's go home now."
As they flew back to Heaven, all the angels were part of the tower of sparks reaching to Heaven. It looked like a big bonfire had been stirred up and the sparks from the fire were rising into the sky like a huge tornado of little lights. On the way back to heaven, a gentle rain washed off all the dust and dirt from the angels who had flown down to earth to help. To most of the angels it just looked like rain, but Gabe hugged Mikey and whispered to him, "These are God's tears."
From "And God Cried Too: A Kid's Book of Healing and Hope" by Marc Gellman. Copyright © 2002. Available from HarperCollins Publishers