This week, nearly every day has an anniversary of an absolute tragedy that has occurred in this country sometime over the last few decades. I’ve decided that in addition to my usual Leslie/Virginia Tech tribute I try to write each year, I’d like to remember some of the other people who have also lost their lives in such horrific ways.
I’ll start with today, April 15: the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. It’s been a whirlwind of a year as far as what’s happened in my heart and mind as a result of these bombings, and I can say with absolute confidence that I’m not alone in admitting that.
What is so easy to say when something like this happens is that the person (or persons) who is responsible for this is evil. They took the lives of innocent people, the confidence they had in their city and country, and for some, whoever was responsible for this also took their limbs. It’s easy to say how much we want those responsible to suffer and pay for what they have done, and it is easy to support the Attorney General when he announces to seek the death penalty against that person.
What isn’t easy, however, is feeling so much hurt for not just the victims of this senseless act, but for those that were responsible. What isn’t easy is seeing that they too have a family who loves them and now they have to live with the their loss in addition to the guilt that comes with knowing what their loved one was responsible for in the last days of their life on this earth. What isn’t easy is having confidence and faith in humanity again and believing that despite it all, there is still good in this world. What isn’t easy is not wanting the surviving individual to suffer in hell for eternity, despite what he’s done on this earth in his life that most believe is not forgivable (though it is). What isn’t easy is not agreeing with the decision to seek the death penalty as a punishment for his actions. What isn’t easy is praying every day for him to realize what he’s done and repent from his terrible actions, and also being thankful that he is still alive and therefore has a chance at redemption.
What isn’t easy is realizing that despite all the pain and suffering two people’s actions have caused, is that now there is a choice to be made and that choice only points to living. Choosing to live no matter your circumstances. I believe that every victim, no matter their age, sex, or religious affiliation even, has made that choice to live. And to not let another moment of their lives be robbed by such a terrible crime. Making the choice to live is not the easiest choice, in fact, it’s probably the harder one. But choosing to live despite loosing a leg, or the hearing in an ear, or even loosing a loved one, is the only choice that can allow God to work in ways that no one ever knew were possible.