I didn’t learn of the bombing on Boston yesterday until I was texting my daughter. All I got was that there were a couple of explosions at the Boston Marathon. I was in New York City when it took place. I don’t own a smartphone, so I didn’t have any real information until I got into my car for the drive home.
I was worried about one of my nieces. She was in Boston on Sunday and is a marathon runner. (She did not run the race and was already safe at home.)
I listened to the radio reports and it became clear that things were still unfolding at 6:00 PM. A lot of the stuff I heard was eyewitness accounts, though valuable, were basically filler as more substantial news, such as the perpetrator(s) or the type of explosive, were unknown. I chose not to watch television or listen to the radio last night and after listening to the radio this morning and reading the Boston Globe and the New York Times, found that things still are unfolding.
I spent yesterday evening thinking and praying – how do we respond? How should we respond?
As part of the faith community in Pittsfield, I feel we need to do something for people. I began to jot down notes:
- Not vengeance
- Strength in Community
I could not help thinking about September 11 and how our anger as a nation got the better of us, which led us down a terribly reckless path — we’re still paying for those sins.
Turning to psalms, my basic “go-to” book in times like these, I found Psalm 46:1-7:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Really, there is no sense to any of this violence.
Whatever response we do, I hope and pray it is not vengeful. I hope and pray it is not destructive, but constructive.