Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And Yet I Do Not Fear: Thoughts After the Boston Marathon Bombing

Yesterday, April 15, 2013, 2 bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon…3 dead, 144 injured that we know of today.  I cannot wrap my mind around the senselessness of this event.  Why do people feel this kind of act is necessary?  Such acts are beyond my comprehension and I struggle to understand…we all do.

Those bombs tore relative peace from the streets of Boston and the lives of thousands of people.  Again terror has entered our reality; forced upon us by hate-filled individuals who have sought to cause us to fear them, have sought some sick retribution in their twisted self-righteousness.  Even here on the other side of the continent I feel the concussion from this terror filled blast.  Honestly my heart and mind are tempted to fear as I struggle with the why but this morning in stead of fearing I find I am looking to the heavens, to my God and I am not afraid; I do not understand and yet I am not afraid.  I have been deeply shaken yes, but I am not afraid, I pray and cry, but I am not afraid.

My heart weeps for the loss of the little 8 year old who was killed, weeps for the ones who died and for those physically injured.  I weep for those loved ones the blast left torn, for the damage done in the hearts and minds of all who are touched by this event across this nation and across the world.  I weep for the painful struggle I know many will have to endure as they heal…struggle in their bodies of pain, in their heart and minds to not give up as they overcome the pain they feel.  I weep in prayer for those with hidden injuries that only God can reach in to touch in those heavily guarded places of the heart.  Those injuries that might break open a hardened heart to their need for the Savior…wounds that go deeper than flesh, injuring the sense of peace and the comfort of the safety we have known.

I look to God and understand that He saw this.  He saw it coming.  He knows who did it and why.  Knowing this does not make it easy and I find I am tempted to want to know why He did not intervene but stop short of asking.  God so often does things outside of human understanding and honestly even if we knew it may not bring satisfaction.  It is enough for me that I know the character of my God and His ultimate purpose to use what the enemy meant for evil for His good and for His glory somehow.  It is enough for me that I know His ways are not our ways and that this world is fallen and evil resides here and will until Jesus returns to claim His bride…until Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.

I do not strive to understand things to great for me regarding this senseless, evil act, but only strive with the love of Christ to carry in prayer those affected by this terrible event before my Heavenly Father and to ask that those who are responsible will be brought to justice.  So I pray for strength of heart and spirit for those attending the wounded and for their families.  I pray that the goodness of God will surround those who have been wounded, His comfort, His peace…sheltered beneath His wings in this terrible storm of affliction.  I pray also that lives will be shaken enough to realize their need for Jesus, the hope for the hopeless.  The song “He Is Our Peace” courses through my mind as I pray…(Father we long for peace outwardly and find none, may we look to You for peace inwardly, eternally.)

I know that even if and when the perpetrator is found and convicted, this will not bring and end to evil here, it is only one more event in many we will suffer along the timeline of this earth's history.  We have for centuries been spared violence at the hand of our enemies here in our country, separated from those who would seek to do us harm and for many decades have not had to look terror in the eyes as they do daily in other parts of the world.  But it seems those days are fading, coming to and end, and the days are darkening as a way has been left open for such men to do their worst here.  So I pray for faith that will not fail, for a heart of greater understanding…and for His mercy.  I pray that we will see God’s goodness, actually I know we will, even though the perpetrator meant this thing for evil, but I still pray and ask for it.

Lord God, Lord Almighty, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, May we all watch how we speak about this and remember that vengeance is Yours and give You room to enact that vengeance as You see fit.  Keep our hearts from seeking retribution and from calling blame!  Help us to walk in the fruit of the Spirit and help us to do Your will.  Help us to be Jesus to those around us who are struggling to understand and may Your peace be upon us and evident to others.  Help us to not sin in our anger over this event but help us to love as Jesus loves, to pray for our leaders and our enemies.  Be glorified in us today. 

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