Yesterday was the Boston Marathon. And someone decided it would be a good idea to set off some bombs near the finish line. People bled, people were seriously wounded and people died.
It’s all that the media is talking about, and on social media there is post after post. Some are angry that someone decided to do something so senselessly hurtful. Some are frustrated that the media becomes so focused on the tragedy – repeating the same facts over and over, perhaps giving too much attention to the perpetrators of the attack. Some just want to express sorrow that we live in a world in which things like this happen. And some vow to never allow incidents like this to dull or defeat the human spirit.
I have to admit, those are my favorite posts. Whether it’s the quote from Mr. Rogers about how his Mom taught him to always look for the helpers in these situations; or the comment that if someone was trying to defeat the human spirit with these attacks, perhaps marathon runners were not the right targets; or the endless posts declaring the prayers being said for the city and its inhabitants – I like this line of thinking. I like the reaction to terrible things that says “I will not let the terrible thing be the end of the story, I will find something good to focus on, even in the midst of this tragedy.”
I think Jesus would have liked that line of thinking too. I am praying for the individuals affected by this tragedy. I am praying for the families who have lost someone they love. I am praying for the city, that it might heal and endure. But most of all, I am praying for humanity. That we can learn to find a better way. That we will live to see a day when stories like this only exist in history books. That we would not allow this to turn our hearts to anger or cruelty, but that we would learn to love each other more, and to sow kindness and reap its rewards.
I am praying.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14 MSG