Boston Bombings: 2 Ways to Respond
- Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Boston Marathon is New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Over 500,000 people, 80 percent of Boston's population, show up to cheer on more than 20,000 runners. Begun in 1897, it's the world's oldest annual marathon. Until today, it was known for history and prestige. Now it will forever be known for tragedy as well.
At 2:50 p.m. EST, two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the marathon's finish line. Three people were killed; over 100 were injured. "It sounded like a sonic boom. I haven't stopped shaking yet," said one onlooker. Security has been heightened at airports and cities across the nation. The White House believes the bombings to be an act of terrorism. At this hour, we don't know anything more about the perpetrators of this cowardly act.
In days of such uncertainty when any public event can become a tragedy, how should we respond? First, consider Psalm 91: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (v. 1). Clearly, the psalmist was writing in a time of adversity, yet five times he states his personal trust in his Lord: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust" (v. 2, my emphasis). A shelter is no help unless we trust it; a fortress can protect only those who are inside its walls. Faith does not protect us from all crises, but in them.
This is a choice each of us can make. When Viktor Frankl was captured by the Nazis, his wife was taken from him, then his clothes were stripped from his body. As they were cutting away his wedding ring, he said to them in his mind, "You can take everything from me — my wife, my clothes, my dignity. The one thing you cannot take from me is the right to decide how I will respond to you."
General Douglas MacArthur once said, "There is no security on this earth. There is only opportunity." I agree — every crisis is an opportunity to trust our Father for his help and hope. Would God say that you have made him your refuge and shelter today?
Second, note the amazing response of many in the aftermath of the bombing. NBC Sports Network tweeted that there were "reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims." In many of the videos shown on news sources, people could be seen running toward victims rather than away from the source of the explosion.
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