With the bombing at the Boston Marathon, our world faces yet another violent, senseless tragedy.
Such an absence of regard for human life.
We get comfortable. We forget or remember less and less. Daily life continues and the realities of the ongoing horrors of this world become removed. War, human trafficking, slavery, abuse, murder, unspeakable brutality. The pain and suffering of rampant disease, hunger, starvation; all a world away.
But this, this jars us awake.
Our own backyard. We are not immune and we cannot live as if we are. There is an enemy and his insidious evil reaches into every corner of this world.
But so does light.
We are all grieving the injury and loss of life in this tragedy. We grieve with the family of an eight-year-old boy. A boy who’s heart carried a message of peace. A life filled with promise. We grieve with a father who right now can’t imagine how he will draw his next breath. How he will tell his wife. How he will help his daughter to cope and to heal. I have fought for that same breath. Not in exactly the same way but enough to know that the next breath will come and then the next and then the next.
I am the mother of an eight-year-old boy who came to my husband and I an abused and neglected toddler only to leave us just after his third birthday, returning to uncertainty; taking my breath with him.
I am the mother of an eight-year-old boy who has experienced the worst of this world. Abuse, neglect, trauma at the hand of the very person who should have loved him the most. But he was not defeated and the next breath came.
I am the mother of an eight-year-old boy who has been delivered from the darkness and who’s light now shines brightly. Piercing that darkness.
Monday afternoon, as I watched the early news reports with him, we talked about what we saw. Not the horrors or the violence.
No, we didn’t talk about you.
We talked about the people we saw helping other people. People rushing to the aide of strangers. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Selfless acts of courage; the best of people. That is what we saw.
We didn’t see you.
We didn’t see an enemy at work. We saw good, people doing good.
And while we watched, do you know what my son said to me? My precious eight-year-old son who has been through so much. “I will be like them mommy. I will run to help.”
He is awake.
I am the mother of and eight-year-old boy who will NEVER tire of doing good.
You have made sure of that.
Your injustice has only made him desire what is right. He will be a “righter” of wrongs.
Your pain and hurt and horror has given him a heart of empathy and understanding; a deep desire to relieve suffering. He has overcome the worst and he will be a light in the darkness.
You have lost.
Yes, another eight-year-old has fallen. His precious life has ended; but still, you have lost. His message is alive. And it has been heard.
“No more hurting people. Peace.”
If your aim was to strike fear. We are not afraid. We are awake. And you have lost.
If your aim was to devalue, destroy, defeat; know this, the battle has already been won and it is you that has been defeated. It is written. It is our promise. It is our hope. And we will never tire of doing good.
In the midst of the most unspeakable darkness, there will always be someone there to do good. To shine a light. To shine His light. You have lost. My eight-year-old has picked up the banner of Martin Richard and will carry on. He is awake and he is not alone.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we
do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV