Thousands more scarred for life in even more substantial ways. God have mercy.
Having just arrived in Guam for mission work late last night, I had been unplugged from news for the last 24 hours. I awoke this morning (Guam time) to hear of the horrific bombings in and around the Boston Marathon a few hours ago.
For those needing to get up to speed, here’s a video link:
Many more details are swirling around — More devices have been found undetonated. Gunpowder and ball bearings seem to have done most of the damage. Boston shut down cell phone reception to keep more from being triggered. A Saudi national has been apprehended. Still alot of questions about who is responsible. Authorities are looking for a rental van that behaved suspiciously. The usual chaos applies as events are still very much unfolding.
I had a few immediate thoughts in the context of my world travels in the last twenty-four hours.
- My prayers will be with those injured, those impacted, the families of those killed, and all affected. I ask you to do the same. Leadership will be crucial in responding to this event, so I pray for wisdom for all from the local leaders to President Obama. I had spent a good portion of the plane rides reviewing accounts of how our own local leaders responded in Chardon to the tragic school shooting that took place February 27, 2012, so a lot of what I’m hearing now from witnesses and leadership in Boston sounds all too familiar. I pray especially for those in ministry and faith-based organizations who are even know mobilizing to help those in need. They will need much strength and courage in the days ahead to show the love of Christ.
- Thank God for the safety personnel who daily put themselves at risk to keep us traveling and running as we go about our daily life. As I passed through several security checkpoints and watched how the air transportation systems in different countries handled such things, I was reminded how critical each piece really is — and how little discomfort it truly is to take off my shoes before getting on a plane in the US. I confess that I am not all that thrilled about the TSA body scans, but I’m also not all that thrilled about the alternative. It’s a small price to pay to ensure evil is not given an opportunity to do its horrific deeds in that instance.
- UPDATE: There is much good that has come from the world becoming more “flat.” One downside is that now almost anyone can do horrible stuff. You don’t need to be a psychotic dictator of an imprisoned nation to hurt, maim, or kill. (Talking to you Kim Jung-un.) That’s who we thought might be making headlines on April 15 for murder and mayhem. Now the danger is greatest from where we often least expect it. The challenge has come and will continue to come in finding the balance between preserving liberty and preserving life. As we seek to protect life, may we not sacrifice our liberty in a knee jerk reaction by banning backpacks or ball-bearings, sincere though any such efforts may be. But may we also not selfishly cry for individual liberty at the expense of those around us — our community. A crtitical piece of what has made America great is it recognition and protection of both — the individual and the community. Both need each other to thrive. May God grant us wisdom on the best path forward.
May God bring comfort to those injured and afraid, strength to those coming to their aid, and justice to the son of %$^#$ who did this.
I share the sentiment expressed by Bob Goff via Twitter:
We’re sad, but we’re not afraid. Not before; not now.
— Bob Goff (@bobgoff) April 15, 2013