Today’s words are simple: how do you respond when tragedy strikes?
I offer not an explanation for what happened yesterday in Boston, for I have none. Instead, I simply realize that sometimes life is more gray than it is black and white, and that the only way we can respond is to mourn with those who mourn (…and rejoice with those who rejoice). Somehow our tears become our offering, and we squeeze our baby just a little bit more, rocking and squeezing and hugging him tightly, and we remember what’s really important, instead of what’s merely urgent.
If you would have asked me eight years ago, when I began pursuing my graduate degree, if upon completion I’d be able to rattle off a theologically sound and biblically accurate answer to the problem of pain and why bad things happen to good people, I’d have said absolutely, believing with total confidence that I’d someday intellectually arrive. But, as I’ve stated before, the supposed irony is that I realize that there’s so much more to learn and “master” and I know I’ve only just begun. Maybe that was the whole point.
So in the aftermath of yesterday, I find hope in the goodness shown, in the t-shirts worn and even in the holy anger felt by many. And in turn, I offer up St. Francis’ prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
How do you respond? When faced with that big question of the problem of pain, and why bad things happen to good people, what do you say?0