I'm not really sure how to blog tonight, it may be more of a stream of consciousness post as I think and pray and weep over the events that occurred in Boston today.
So many thoughts, as a runner, I know what it's like to prepare for the big race. While Boston has not been on my radar or plan, I understand the training, preparation, rest, nourishment and mental prep that goes into preparing for a distance race. For those who did prepare for this day my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine how the events of the day impacted your run (whether you finished or not.) I give thanks that Darrell and Tim (friends of mine who were in the race today) and their families are safe. That's the most important thing.
As I began to see the coverage on the news, I was able to watch the video from the finish line only once. Tears came to my eyes as runners were shaking and falling due to the impact of the explosion. As reports came streaming in from friends and family I wanted to keep checking the facebook posts....and then I became overwhelmed. The mixed blessings of social media and the web is our instant access to just about everything and everyone. I turned on the tv and went for the Food Network. I needed to take a step away from all the information pouring in. It would have been possible to watch coverage all afternoon...but I knew that would not be a good choice. Don't get me wrong, it was great to know that friends and family were safe and that people were posting ways to reconnect in the city and places to go for help. But to just read and get sucked in, just isn't healthy either. Because as much as our online community is supportive....we need to connect to the ones we see face to face. (I realize I'm blogging this...as part of online community....and I do see the value in that, but I also want to stress and emphasize the face-to-face communities in which we live.
I was truly thankful for the Stewardship Committee meeting tonight. We gathered to talk about church things, but we began in prayer. We were the presence of the risen Christ gathered together, in the midst of tragedy, to talk, to shed tears and to struggle with our lives of faith in a world with violence. We talked about how what shakes us up in an event like this is our lack of safety. That in places we once felt safe, that is what has been taken away....and that is a scary place to be.
Just yesterday in my Sunday school class, we talked about how real it is to struggle with the situations that we face in our day to day lives, even in light of the empty tomb....and that even walking in the promise of the resurrection, we struggle to understand why these things happen. I shared that sometimes all we can lean on are those words of hope and promise. Yet today, it is hard for me to do so. And so today, I give thanks for the gift of community. That some of us gathered together for a meeting and were able to voice our frustration, anger and fear and pray because of what happened in Boston today.
There are no answers...although some will come at some point. I continue to pray that as we grieve and mourn and begin to pick up the pieces that we are able to do so in light of the empty tomb, the promise of the resurrection and the words of grace and forgiveness. There is so much hurt in Boston this night and our world every day. May we continue to seek God's presence in our lives and let that light shine so that others may see it and know of the love and grace God has for each and every one of us.
So take time this day and in the next few, to do things or be with people who help you to see the light of the empty tomb. Hug your kids, talk with your neighbors, be together offering words of forgiveness and grace. You, too, will be the light of Christ to others.
Blessings of love and peace to all...
Let us pray,
Gracious God, this brings tears to my eyes. Wrap your arms around those who are hurt, those who are dying, those who are rescuing, those who are still trying to connect with loved ones, those who are scared, those who are safe and those who turn to violence. We are all in need of your love, grace, healing and forgiveness. Amen.
P.S. This was a blog post....which reaches out to a community online. I'm still struggling with how to balance online and face-to-face community. Yet, if this blog speaks to you and you feel connected, comforted, challenged, touched....I'm thankful. I encourage your thoughts, responses, questions, comments or concerns. But I also challenge you to think off-line, and to connect with people face-to-face, as well. Wherever your groups of support are...church, the gym, the coffee shop, your dining room table, the grocery store....engage with others, talk to each other....continue to build community.
P.P.S. Somehow Marley knew it was important to be close tonight...