“Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
Imagine this. You have trained for months and months to enter a race; you kept to your diet, put in the miles, sacrificed when and as needed. The big day comes … and you are off! You are participating in the biggest race of your life: the 2013 Boston Marathon. After miles and miles of pain, you see it up ahead – the finish line. But just before you reach the end, your sweet victory, there is a tremendous loud explosion. It shakes the ground and you can see clouds of smoke. What is going on? You are turned away from going towards the finish line by the police. There is chaos, people panicking, everyone running around looking for loved ones who may have been hurt. You are in a daze, confused.
Or maybe this was the scene. Your relative is running the race. It’s their very first marathon. You are excited for them and can’t wait for them to cross the finish line. You see them coming in the distance after waiting and waiting and waiting. But all of a sudden there is an explosion, billows of smoke and blood splattering you as people are hurt. You realise there is blood flowing from a deep cut on your leg (or arm or head or shoulder). You are scared and confused! There is so much chaos … and where is your relative???
Yes, this happened in the USA, but it could easily have happened anywhere. And if this were really you, what would you have done in either scenario? How would you have reacted? How would you have felt?
The longest distance I have ever run in a race is 10K. I thought I was going to die and ‘graduated’ to 5K instead. Even though these distances are short, lots of training is involved; it is hard hard work. And the older you get my friends, the harder it is to make your muscles do what you want them to. So I can’t even begin to imagine the training I would need to undertake to run a marathon far less a half marathon.
God constantly tells us: “Do not be afraid.” Yet there is so much unnecessary violence in our world today that I am afraid. I am not only afraid for myself, but for my friends, family and loved ones. Anything can happen to any of us in the flash of a moment, not because God planned it but because we live in a world where evil people make evil decisions which lead to evil results. It is for this reason that it is not safe to go to the movies or you may be shot, your children are not safe to go to school or they may be shot, it is not safe to walk down the street or you may be shot … the list can seem overwhelming and endless.
In circumstances such as these however, we are not afraid to step out and do what is right. We immediately jump in to give blood, tend to and assist those who are physically hurt, provide emotional support to those who are grieving and yes, eventually forgive those who are guilty of taking advantage of the innocent. Best of all, it is times like these where we have the opportunity to truly love our neighbours as ourselves while demonstrating that light and love will always overcome darkness and hate.
The evil may walk among the good, but our hearts and prayers are with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Let us reach out to touch those who have lost loved ones, those who have lost limbs, those who trained hard but yet lost the reward; and may God bless all who are mourning as a result of these horrific tragedy, for they will indeed be comforted.
More news here: Boston Marathon – CNN.com