Last week we were all glued in horror to our television sets, radios, or twitter feeds. After the elite runners crossed the finish line and the hobby runners were coming down the home stretch explosions rang out. Two IEDs kill, maine, and injure runners and fans indiscriminately. I said to my partner, how do you tell a runner he’s lost his legs? I have since read that a dance instructor lost her feet. People whose passion enhances the lives of countless others have been punished in someone’s cruel drama. I’m angry, we’re all angry. At least in the moment we’re angry.
Time passes. The horror and the anger, at least for me, have subsided. My Boston friends are safe. I turn my attention to the fuming masses. I have no idea what they’re thinking or feeling. The pundit crowd is holding court. The reactions are predictable.
The Boston police with an assist from the FBI have captured the young man suspected of instigating the chaos. One suspect is dead, killed in a police shoot-out, the other is still in hospital. The police and the fire department did what they always do. They clean up our messes. We owe them more thanks than we give them. They’re not perfect, but they do a nearly impossible job.
A 19 year old boy lies in a hospital bed. He is recovering in the same hospital as many of his victims. Doctors and nurses tend to all without discrimination. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. They to do a nearly impossible job. I’m thinking about this young man – a boy really – in the same hospital with those maimed by his bombs. He is a citizen, a human being, dare I say – one of us.
Jesus teaches that we must visit the sick and the imprisoned. It is not for the purpose of discounting their humanity. Quite the contrary it is to bear witness to their humanity – our humanity. As the days go on let us remember our common humanity. If we don’t I fear we are lost.