A Modern Parable In The Face Of Tragedy


I know when I encounter deep tragedy like we watched unfold in Boston on Monday, I tend to react not with anger but with great sadness. I felt that way on September 11th, and I felt that way again on Monday and throughout this past week.

And now as I sit writing this and the manhunt for the second suspect continues because the other one is dead, I feel the sadness all the more.

Perhaps it is because, as someone who was bullied a lot from Kindergarten on, I somehow knew at a very early age that people can be very mean. It was through the examples of my parents, some compassionate teachers and mentors, and my faith even at that early age that informed me to feel sorry for those who hurt others...like Jesus did. That made a huge impression on me what I was very young, and it stuck.

Don't get me wrong - there are times I'm filled with righteous anger at inequality, injustice, and senseless acts of violence perpetrated against innocent people. And yet, I've known for a very long time that the world has been this way for a very, very long time. Violence, terror, and the choice to act out the evil that lies inherently within each of us is something I've grappled with for a very long time, and when I see that choice played out upon bloody streets and children violently taken away from their parents' love, all I can do is cry.

It is so far beyond mere anger I can't articulate it, but through a profound grieving for all who are senselessly swept away in the maelstrom of our own anger, fear and torment.

It can make one feel hopeless, that time after time as we watch innocents die by the hand of people who opt to embrace their own potential for evil, there is nothing we can do.

And then the big questions arise: Why? How? For What? When will it happen again? Why won't it stop? Why can't we stop it?

It's enough to profoundly challenge one's sense of hope.

And so I turn, as I so often do, to those places that remind me of the truth of scripture when it speaks about the light coming into the world, and the darkness not being able to overcome it.

It speaks to the reality that there is darkness in the world, but that the light inherent in the hearts of those who ran towards the explosions, into the burning towers, dove on top of the grenade....all those that are living, breathing testimonies to the inherent Good in all of us always remind us that there is Good in this world, and it is worth fighting for.

Just like Sam says.

And there's a modern parable for all of us in the face of tragedy.

Peace, Shawn




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