Once again, we as America face a time of national crisis. This is different than a shooting or an accident. The loss of life in those events is horrible and should never be minimized in any way. This is different because it is a deliberate attack on who we are as a country.
While the motives behind the perpetrators and even their identities are not yet known, terrorism is more than just murder. It is designed to instill fear, to bring change to a way of life, to create tension, and affect a society, not just a group. In that, these evil and cowardly individuals have succeeded, for now. We decide if their tactics affect us long term, but that is for another post.
Like so much of America, and even the world, I sat in shock and sadness yesterday afternoon as the images from Boston flashed on the TV screen. I first learned about the atrocity on Twitter while sitting in front of my daughters’ school to pick them up. When we got home we watched the coverage together. Their responses can be seen in their posts on Twitter.
We talked and I answered their questions as best I could in the immediate moments. We prayed. We prayed for the families affected, the victims, the first responders, the medical personnel, and the government officials that will be dealing with all this.
Late last night after the evening had settled down and the house was quiet, I was reflecting on it all myself when my youngest daughter came out to the living room crying. She was scared, confused, and heartbroken. She sat with me in the chair and I held her.
We talked some more and she asked the question that so many are asking, “Why?”
I wish I had an adequate answer.
The only answer I have is the one I gave. It’s because evil is real.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where evil exists. It exists because people are selfish. And selfishness allowed to run its full course leads to darkness in the hearts of those controlled by it. In the church world, we call this sin. Sin leads to destruction. In the heart of the individual, it starts out as selfishness; a refusal to see anyone else’s perspective; a denying of others, and a complete commitment to what the individual feels to be right in their mind. Whether the terrorist believes they will be rewarded in some way in the next life or they believe they are going to get their way in this or they somehow believe this is revenge, it is about them and what they want. Selfishness. Darkness. Evil. Destruction.
It is enough of a tragedy when evil destroys an individual and their relationships. It is a travesty when it spreads from the heart of one and affects so many.
The world we live in is a dangerous place as long as evil rules in the hearts of some. We must be diligent. We must pray. We must reach out to those around us and share hope and life.
Most importantly, we must instill life and hope and a care and concern for others in our children. The best way to have a better tomorrow is to prepare the children of today to lead better lives. Politicians will have there plans. The media will spout their agendas. Commentators will commentate. But to stop evil, we must start with the heart of the individual. We must start with our heart. Then we must pass on goodness to the next generation by touching the heart of a child, by teaching our children well.
Our hearts break for those so profoundly devastated by the evil of whomever set those bombs in Boston. It is another date that will live on in infamy.
God didn’t cause this. A person or persons with evil in their heart(s) did. This is the result of evil. It is real. It exists. But, God is there. He is there with the victims and the responders. He is providing strength and faith and ability. His heart is breaking along with ours.
The best response to evil is justice for those who perpetrate these types of actions and love and care for those affected by it.
Let us pray today for those who are hurting, whose lives will never be the same. Let us pray for those who are responding and investigating. Let us pray for our leaders as they respond. Let us pray for our children, that we would help them navigate this in their minds and that they would grow to create a better tomorrow.