God, heroes, Life Talk


I am thinking, along with much of the rest of the world, about Boston tonight.

We still don’t know many details of what’s happened. I can’t bring myself to look at photos (not only because of the stark horror of them, but because the thought of someone deliberately choosing to take a picture of people suffering and in pain rather than helping those people fills me with rage – and yes, I understand that for some people it is their job, but it still enrages me, reasonably or not) or watch any video.

A few years ago, my brother-in-law ran the Boston Marathon, with my sister there to cheer him on. I keep thinking about them, about all the what-might-have-beens. She’s expecting their first child now. I just … the possibilities shake me to my core, and the fact that the “might-have-beens” for my family are realities for others has brought me to tears more than once this afternoon.

For several years, my dad and I volunteered at the Ironman in Lake Placid. I loved being stationed on the runners’ path best of all, for the energy and joy and determination. We would come away completely drenched in Gatorade (you try handing out drinks to runners without getting soaked in the process), exhausted, with lungs hoarse from screaming encouragement to them, and so, so filled with satisfaction and delight.

This … this hits me close to the heart.

Earlier today, before I found out about Boston, I finally finished a “hero adventure dress” for my five-year-old, her reward for diligently practicing walking with straight feet until it became natural (her pigeon-toed stance was becoming a serious problem – she couldn’t walk without tripping). She put it on, and her silver sparkly shoes and said “Where’s my sword? I’m ready to go fight the monsters, and be a hero!”

I went to share that tidbit on Twitter … and promptly saw the news about Boston.

I went back and read my reaction post to Newton later this afternoon: Light and Love. It helped, to remind myself of my mantra, my firm belief that only by being light can we conquer the darkness in this world. That is my “sword.” That is how I fight the monsters.

Out of the ashes of this tragedy, I am already seeing evidence of others practicing this. Acts of kindness, of courage, of faithfulness, of hope. Of love. Petty differences swept aside, suddenly we are all humans together.

My heart aches tonight. But I will hold to my faith, and I will be a light, and I will practice love, and above all, I will pray for healing and mercy and justice.

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.

This is the only way we can stop the encroaching dark.

11 thoughts on “Boston”

  1. I reread my post from after Newtown today, too, and found it still relevant– and calming. If you remember (heck, I’ll just link it for bystanders reading: http://rockinlibrarian.livejournal.com/306627.html) mine was more about how people react to tragedy than tragedy itself, and I remembered that which is why I went back to look it up, because I was starting to get angry with people who obsess over social media over things again and I was like “I should post that to remind people to think about how they’re acting,” but then I read what I wrote and realized I’d wrote that I should just LET people BE, that that’s the way they deal with things, and everyone deals differently, and if they might not REALIZE that everything reacts differently and their way isn’t the only correct way, well oh well, I can forgive them, because even if they’re people I admire, even if they’re people who seem to have it more together than I do, they’re still only human, and they don’t know everything.

    I do like what you said about the media coverage– why do they focus on the pain instead of on the helpers?

    1. The one thing that comforted me this time, was that everyone I saw on social media seemed less likely to be turning this to their own ends, and more genuinely sorrowful and shocked.

      Of course, I stopped following a bunch of people after Newtown, so it’s entirely possible that I just managed to clear my friends’ lists of the politicizers.

      1. Heh, a terrible selfish thing I thought was, “PHEW! A bombing, not a shooting. I don’t have to listen to dozens of seemingly intelligent people yelling that people who have guns are evil.”

        I actually couldn’t help hanging out on Twitter for awhile afterwards– not obsessively, but off and on– and what I noticed was how SLOW it was. The ONLY people on WERE talking about the bombings (and often doing that whole make-you-feel-guilty-if-you-dare-think-about-anything-else thing), and I realized, that must be because everyone who DOESN’T feel the need to beat crises to death over social media had probably turned Twitter off to avoid those tweets!

        Apparently there ARE people who’ve jumped to the conclusion that it’s a fanatic-Muslim thing– which I haven’t seen personally (I guess I follow the RIGHT people, too)– which is kind of crazy. The first thing I pictured was that it was a youngish white guy in a baseball cap. I was thinking of the Oklahoma City guy, I think. But like John Green tweeted right away, jumping to conclusions about WHO you think did it says more about you than about who did it.

        So yeah. I’m glad it’s harder to politicize. We must ban homemade bombs! …oh, right.

  2. Yes. You’re so right. All we can do in response is to love a little harder, live a little more intensely. Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with(in) God. And celebrate the light – the babies born, the love that is in this world. STILL.

  3. I haven’t been able to post about these tragedies, but I should, the more people who spread messages of light and love, the better. I love the Bible verse you shared!

    1. Some can write/talk about it, and some can’t. Just different ways of coping. Even if you can’t post about it specifically, anything you share about light and love will help to combat the fear and horror of it.

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