I saw the first inkling something was wrong on Twitter. The news outlets were reporting two explosions near the finish line at the Boston Marathon with numerous people injured and possibly dead.
And I thought, not again, Lord. Please, not again.
[Mumford & Sons, "After the Storm." Image Source: Pinterest]
The tragedies seem to come in waves. We, as a country, are knocked down by the waves of shock, sadness and grief only to stand up, spit the water out of our mouths, and keep moving forward. Before we know it, another wave comes along and knocks us down again.
I’m at a loss for words today. Not because what happened in Boston on Monday was the greatest tragedy to every occur – although it was and is a horrendous act of violence. I’m at a loss for words because this “stuff” continues to happen, I don’t understand why, and I don’t know how to stop it.
I mean, I do understand why things like this happen. I know there is evil in the world and that, at times, the evil wins – even if only for a brief moment – before love rises high enough to heal the broken hearts. I also know that no matter how good God is that freewill can result in tragedy and devastation. And I do believe that God is good and that He will ultimately use these events for good.
So, I sit here thinking.
I think of all the runners who trained and worked and pushed themselves to get to the point of not only running in the Boston Marathon, but nearly completing it . . . but who didn’t get to. And without regard for their own feelings of disappointment, stepped up to help those who had been injured.
I think of the young boy, Martin Richard, who truly had his whole life ahead of him, but now that life is gone. And his family. A sister whose leg had to be amputated. A mother in critical condition. And a father, running in the race, who is most likely numb with shock.
I think of the others who were seriously injured and I see their pictures in my mind – pictures I wish I’d never actually seen.
And I think, not again, Lord. Please, never again.
Father, I pray that you will heal the bodies of those wounded in Monday’s explosion. I ask you to please heal the hearts of those grieving loss of life and loss of limb. Please comfort those families who are preparing to bury someone they love. Ease the emotional and physical pain being experienced by those recovering in hospitals and provide strength for their families as they support them through the challenging days ahead. Most of all, Lord, I pray that you would show us how to love each other in such a powerful way that it squashes the hate. Teach us how to care about and for those around us, compel us to be compassionate, and show us how to be sensitive to those you place in our paths. May your love, expressed through us, be so powerful, so big, so consuming that it swallows up all anger, bitterness, and hate in the world.
Because hate never wins. Love always does.