These are some of the best responses I have read in the wake of the terrible attacks at the Boston Marathon on April 15. They are by Mary Luti a pastor and retired professor from Andover Newton Theological Seminary. They were posted on her Facebook. Thank you MaryLuti- for your faithful insight and spirit.
Friday April 19, 10am
The fugitive is a human being. He is a teenage boy. He did horrible cruel and terrifying things. He needs to be found and brought to justice before he does more harm. The suffering he has caused is already beyond unspeakable. The longer this goes on, the higher the wake of pain will rise.
No matter how much we think we can know, no many how many confident judgments are now being made about him by reporters and shrinks and law enforcement and neighbors and high school friends. No matter how much we learn about the ways he became a murderer--even if he himself lives through this to tell us--we will never know him, never fully understand. Chances are he does not even fully understand it.
He is not an object onto which I am allowed to project all my fears and anger and prejudices and fantasies. He is a human being. A boy. A criminal, yes, and my brother.
God be merciful to his victims. God be merciful to us all. And God be merciful to him.
Friday April 19, 2pm
How exhausted and on edge the courageous police and other law enforcement people must be in such a tense and scary environment, alerting, searching, guarding, analyzing, questioning, just standing around, wondering. Pray for them.
How exhausted the families and friends of Officer Shawn Collier and the unidentified MBTA officer must be, like the families and friends of the dead and injured in thebombing, shocked and shattered with grief and expecting justice, for what it’s worth when the ones you love are dead. Pray for them.
How exhausted and frustrated the obedient public in the locked down areas must be, so unsure of whether they are in danger and of what might happen next and when they might resume their lives and what they are going to do cooped up with their kids today. Pray for them.
How exhausted the medical professionals and the chaplains and the city's spiritual leaders and our public leaders must be as they do all they need to do, what they are called to do in a time like this, be good at what they do, be strong for us, encourage and lead with all the energy they can summon as the days pass by. Pray for them.
How exhausted the reporters and camera people and editors and pundits must be, trying to fill endless airtime with actual news when there is none really, dealing with so much speculation and rumor, putting their foot in it time and time again, but trying hard not to. Pray for them.
How exhausted the young man accused of this crime must be as he runs and hides and waits for the inevitable, and thinks about what he has done and how it has come to this. You may not want to, but please pray for him too. Pray that he gives himself up so that there will be no more death today, not even his.
How exhausted the soul is trying to make meaning and sense of all this, trying to remain human and sane in the midst of it all, so aware that one can never comprehend anything like this clearly, can never get it fully right. Pray for each other. Pray for each other.
Saturday, April 20
It's the day after...
To honor the dead and maimed, today we might try to live well and lovingly rejoicing in the good and not in the death or misery of anyone, anyone at all.
To grieve well the victims' senseless suffering, today we might try to be present to another's pain, in person or in prayer, even the pain of the wicked.
To defeat the violence that caused so much anguish, today we might try to resist it in all its forms, trying as best we can not to be angry or intemperate or overbearing or vengeful.
To thank everyone who helped the victims and kept the rest of us safe, today we might pledge to help and protect our vulnerable neighbors from the fear and anger that could be directed at them.
To be proud and grateful Americans, today we might spend a moment teaching our children about what makes us grand when we are at our best: liberty, openness, unity in diversity, opportunity for all, and the just rule of law...
Oh, and don't forget on this wondrous day after to be grateful for the rain, to eat ice cream and pie, to watch the Sox, to beat the crap out of your brother-in-law at cribbage, to change the sheets, to get out of the house, to crank up the music, and take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese (well maybe not that).