The bombings at the Boston Marathon, and now the explosions here in West, Texas, many of us we will never be the same again…for my family and I, we weren’t simply spectators to the horrors that unfolded on Monday, it was/is a very real event when the bombings in Boston became very personal for us. My niece’s life was spared Monday. She grew up in Boston and now attends a surrounding university in the area. She was set to attend the Boston Marathon as she has done for so many years…it’s a way of life in Boston – a day of celebration of individual accomplishments as well as community accomplishments. My niece’s life was spared Monday. I am not sure why at the last moment, the administration of the university she attends requested that she give a tour of the campus to a large group visiting, and being an ambassador of the institution she is a part of, she agreed to give the tour. My niece’s life was spared Monday…and I have no idea why. But I thank the Triune Community Of God every time I think about what could have happen to her and WHAT did happen to many of her friends. My niece is now living with the guilt of not being there. Her friend (who will remain autonomous for the sake of privacy), the friend that my niece was supposed to be standing with to cheer their friends on who were running in the marathon, is now in a coma fighting for their life. They were right next to the place where the first bomb that went off. My niece’s life was spared on Monday, but three of her other friends running in the marathon were mowed down by the second bomb and now will live with the permanent scars, both physical and mental scars, from the terror that struck the heart of America on Monday. The world changed for my family on Monday…when terror became personal. So what do we do with the terror? Do we become angry? Do we become sad? Do we lash out, taking out whomever we think should be responsible for this tragedy? Do we live in fear for the rest of our lives, always looking over our shoulders? Do we seek justice without compromising the posture of love? And if so, what does that even look like? I’m not proposing these questions to suggest I have the answers for them…all I know is that my niece’s life was spared on Monday. Many other lives were not. What is next – it’s not only the question we should be asking for our faith communities, but should be one of the questions all of us should be asking – as a larger community that we call the United States especially, “When Terror Becomes Personal.” Join with me in this dialogue as we continue to ask the question of what is next?
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