If you’re reading this, you’re probably old enough to remember exactly where you were when 9/11 happened. Events of such significance, such tragedy, and such horror seem to impact you forever as that seemingly “normal” day that began just a few hours earlier suddenly turns black and the whole world starts spinning.
For the past ten years or so, I had not experienced such a striking moment as the one when I walked in late to eighth grade science class and saw the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. And then those moments started happening practically faster than the news could keep up.
July 20, 2012.
Aurora, Colorado. Mass shooting in a movie theater.
December 14, 2012.
Twenty elementary students and six teachers die at Sandy Hook Elementary.
April 12, 2013.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell goes on trial for first degree mass murder of babies over the span of 30+ years in Pennsylvania.
April 15, 2013.
Boston Marathon is bombed, killing three and injuring many more.
Aren’t we all asking that question? Why would someone choose to do such a thing? Why would God allow that to happen? Why those precious children? Why couldn’t someone stop it? As much as I want to continue to have faith in humanity, events like the one on Monday are a vivid reminder that all is not right with the world.
I’m preparing to run my next marathon in less than two weeks, and I am a flood of emotions. I’m heartbroken for the people who lost loved ones in Boston. I’m angry about the pure evil and hatred that exist in our world. I’m scared to run in my own race on April 28th.
One of the few things I have a sense of clarity about through Boston’s tragedy is the following:
I cannot choose to live my life in fear.
With these horrific events taking place all around us at such a rapid rate, it is a wonder that we choose to leave the safety of our own homes anymore. But, what happened in Boston could have happened anywhere. What took occurred in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, could have occurred at my school in Norman, Oklahoma. Whether it’s teaching or running a marathon, anything worth doing involves taking a risk. I still get up in the mornings and go to work, though the possibility exists that someone might bring in a gun. On April 28th, I’ll run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon to remember not only the people killed in the OKC Bombing in 1995, but also those who died in Boston this week, doing exactly the thing that I am setting out to do.
And finally, I have to hold on to this hope:
One day the good will win.
Even in this sick world, there are glimmers of hope reminding us that evil will not triumph forever. Amid the tragic events in Boston, some marathoners kept running after they crossed the finish line and went to the local hospital to donate blood for those suffering injuries. A few small voices found the courage to testify against the unspeakable murders taking place at Dr. Gosnell’s clinic. One teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary chose to give her life to save her students.
Today and every day, I am thankful that a brighter day is coming and that, in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien in his book, The Return of the King,“Everything sad will become untrue.”
May that day come quickly!
“‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new!’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”