As with everyone else in the nation, I am saddened and disheartened about what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday. Once again, our sense of peace and security has been rocked. And, I’ve noticed people saying that events such as these are upsetting when they happen, but not really “shocking” any more since it seems like something major like this happens fairly regularly nowadays.
But, on the flip side, I noticed almost immediately people throwing up the Mr. Rogers quote about looking for the “helpers” in the tragedy. I’ve seen it quoted more times than I can count. And, it’s a great thought, especially for children and really for all of us.
When things like this happen, we first have the shock and awe of graphic pictures and videos on the news and Internet. Everyone’s emotions get all keyed up as we try to take in exactly what happened and understand the details of the situation.
But, again, it seems more quickly than usual that the stores of heroism and “helpers” have cropped up equally as fast. From runners finishing the race and running to the hospital to give blood to former NFL players helping others who were hurt to the volunteers of the race who ran towards the blast to strangers taking people in and giving basic first aid right on the scene – the good of people, of a city, of a nation suddenly came out in ways that inspire and move us. And, this is wonderful. And, it gives us hope in humanity. And, it proves that we were made good, not evil; to love, not hate. It proves that “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
But, why, oh why, does it take a tragedy – a bombing, a school shooting, a natural disaster – to get the best out of us?
Somehow, on a daily basis, we miss the need of our neighbor to be carried, to be comforted, to have the “bleeding” of broken hearts and lives tended to.
We don’t run towards those who are suffering in less obvious ways – from loneliness, fear, being unloved. We aren’t rocked by the events that are blasting apart families and taking innocent lives. We walk past those crying, calling out, shell-shocked, who just need someone to see them and care for them in their hour of greatest need.
St. José Maria Escriva said, “If we Christians really lived in accordance with our faith, the greatest revolution of all times would take place.”
This is what our country needs – a revolution. But not just any revolution. We need a revolution of Love. We need to be fighting to out love each other, to see who can do more, give more, who can be pushed to the highest heights of the love we were meant to share.
We’ve proven over and over again when tragedy has struck that we are, indeed, a Christian country, who’s values are firmly planted in the understanding that God IS love and we have a responsibility and innate desire to show that love to others. But, when will we start living that on a daily basis? When will we stop waiting for things to get really bad to start doing the most good?
I am praying for the people of Boston. I am praying for those “helpers” and heroes. I am praying for those who inflicted this type of pain on innocent people. But, mostly, I am praying that we, as a nation, as people of God, will not stop here. I am praying that we will really begin to live our faith and start the revolution of love. It’s time.