And the world asks, why?
An absolute tragic waste of life. Children killed, murdered, before they get to taste life. Parents robed of their joy. Today, lost in a dark place, searching for understanding. But there is no understanding. It is senseless, useless, a tragedy, just plain stupid. Today they have to face the reality of their loss. Their hearts are shattered.
So too are the lives of those injured so severely. Limbs gone. Lives changed forever. Livelihoods destroyed. Families facing financial impossibilities. There is no reason for this deliberate act of hate and violence in Boston. None whatsoever. There is no reason for such a loss as this. But it is the world in which we live.
I read the paper this morning. I see the pictures. And I cry. My heart is broken. I feel I am part of this tragic loss.
However, the Spirit reminds me of other tragedies. Not to take away from the effect this act of violence is having on the world, but do you realize that there were only 3 killed and 130 injured. I say only because in a single day there are far more than 3 people who die in a senseless act of violence in this world. There are far more than 130 people injured as a result of tragic violence.There are countless families who are changed every day in a blink of an eye because someone considered someone else's life less valuable than their own. What about those who died today from salvation? Those stolen and sold into slavery?What about those who were beaten and raped in our city block last night?
Because it is an ugly, godless world. But we are better than that.
You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors[a] love their friends. If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? But you must always act like your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-48)
Jesus' words, himself a target of unspeakable violence. And what were his words at the pinnacle of the unjust violence wrought against him? "Father, forgive them." Jesus taught the lessons that he would soon live out himself. We say things like, "I know the Bible says to love and forgive, but ..." Yes, there always seems to be a clause for not living the holy life we have been told to live. There is always just cause to hate and seek vengeance There is always just cause for not forgiving. But Jesus says, do it anyway.
As we have received, we are to give out. There are no buts about it. We love as Jesus has loved us. We forgive as we have been forgiven by our Father. We show the same mercy as God has shown to us. No excuses, just do it. This is the difference between the Church and the world. This is the difference between the saved and the lost. This is the difference between the light and the dark. This is the difference. This is why Christians, honest followers of Jesus Christ, do not go around blowing people up. This is why Jesus told Peter to put the sword away. We are not those who live and die by the sword. We are those who love the enemy who would take our life.
If we don't understand this then we do not understand God. If we cannot love in this way then we have not yet tasted of Jesus' love. If we are bent on vengeance instead of being an instrument of healing in a suffering world, then we do not love Jesus. John said it well:
God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. (1 John 4:8)
The world is going to ask why and seek vengeance. We know why, the results of a godless society promoting self-centered agendas. We know why and we are still committed to love as Jesus loved, to give as he gave, to sacrifice as he sacrificed, to forgive as he forgave, because we are his followers. We are instruments of healing in times such as these. Do not allow cursing to stain your healing lips, speak words of comfort and hope to a word lost in this suffering.