When did it happen? Was it a singular event or a gradual erosion? When did terrorist acts become part of our culture? The answers to these question would likely be like a Rorschah test of our hot button issues.
I just can’t wrap my head around an evil person(s) planting a couple of bombs at a celebration like Patriot’s Day in Boston. Yet, we all know about relatives intent on ruining family celebrations.
This morning I was nostalgic for the peace and calm of my childhood. Were we oblivious in our small town cocoon? Did we naively believe “all is just fine here” because we didn’t recognize or acknowledge child abuse and domestic violence? Gang members in those days wore leather jackets and popped gum during class. They didn’t rape and shoot their classmates as a sign of domination. The worst rebuke a child could receive was for acting “uncivilized.”
For most of my life, people got dressed up to fly. We went to the gate to celebrate our friends’ and loved ones’ departure on a grand adventure. There was no TSA or screening of baggage.
The first act of unfathomable violence that I can recall was the morning during law school when an abusive almost ex-husband brought a shotgun to divorce court and shot the judge and his wife’s attorney. Now, almost every courthouse in the country has monitors.
I was watching the noon news yesterday when the story of the terrorism at the Boston Marathon broke. It took awhile for it to register that “spontaneous severing” was journalistic code for the fact that the sidewalk was littered with people’s limbs. OMG. People who were cheering one minute were forever wounded. They will never forget April 15, 2013.
As the stories emerged today, I was struck by how families were literally blown apart yesterday. Their lives will change in ways they can’t imagine today. Little Martin Richard was the youngest to die. In his confirmation photo, he is holding a banner of a dove ~ the symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit.
The blessing of yesterday’s carnage are all the people ~ first responders, race volunteers, witnesses, medical professionals ~ who ran toward those in desperate need to save lives. The blessing of yesterday was the race preparation that included a medical tent full of trauma-trained nurses and doctors. The blessing yesterday is that it happened in Boston which has some of the best hospitals in the country.
And, the greatest blessing is the number of people with powerful faith who reminded everyone that love is always greater than hate. Yes, we live in a world where one evil person can destroy the love and celebration of thousands of people. We also live in a world filled with good people who inspire us with their love, compassion, faith, and good deeds.