Pastoral Response to Boston Bombings
Pastor Mark had just preached on it: fear. Maybe you felt it yesterday. If you were like me, you were glued to the screen in horror watching the latest news reports coming out of Boston yesterday. Maybe you saw the video of the first bomb going off, the runner in orange stumbling, white smoke roiling into the sky. But did you notice something immediately after? Did you notice how people ran towards the carnage, not away from it? A scene of unspeakable evil turned into a scene of incredible bravery and compassion in seconds. I saw grace in the midst of evil.
I heard that many of the runners, upon finishing their run (or not finishing, as it were), immediately ran to the hospital to give blood. I read that many homes in Boston have opened up to stranded runners. Megan and I have many friends who should have been at the finish line yesterday. None of them were there. All of them were spared. One of our friends, Becky Lahna, has not missed being at the finish line for seven years. But this year, something, someone, told her to turn around her car and go home; so she watched the marathon from her home. I have seen God’s goodness in the midst of mankind’s evil.
Can it be? Can God still be good when evil seems to encroach all around? As Christians we must confess that yes, He is good. All the time, He is good. And when we see these glimmers of grace, we get a glimpse of His goodness working in our broken world. In a show of support, the Brooklyn Academy of Music projected onto their building a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” Yes, this is true! But where does the light come from? John tells us of Jesus, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
As we watch how the evil done in Boston unfolds, and indeed how it permeates all of our world, will we have eyes that see God’s grace hidden in plain sight? Instead of dwelling on the horror and evil of yesterday, maybe we could be the voices that point to the light that we see, especially the light of Jesus. Each good deed done in the midst of this evil is a sign that God is still at work on earth, even through those who do not recognize Him. Let us pray that God’s light will shine in this darkness. Pray that he will move through His churches and saints in Boston to show his grace and goodness to those who are injured and hurting, spiritually and physically. Let us pray that Jesus would draw all men to Himself, and that His light will shine in the darkness. Amen.