Yesterday was a scary day for many people. The bombings at the Boston Marathon remind us that there is evil everywhere. But I think it also proved that there are heroes everywhere too. There were many people who did not know each other yesterday reaching out to help and comfort complete strangers.
I was looking on Facebook this afternoon, and a friend of mine had a picture up that said, "When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." - Fred Rogers. I think that we can concentrate on the evil of this catastrophe, or we can celebrate the survivors, the helpers, and that no matter how much evil is in this world, we are strong and carry on. I think focusing on the perpetrators give them far more glory than they deserve. I in no way condone their actions, and I know that God will hold them accountable, so I choose to concentrate on the people affected by this instead.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -
You have heard the law that says, "Love your neighbour and hate your enemy." But I say, love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind to only your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. -
Heavenly Father, I lift up all of those affected by the senseless violence of yesterday. Let them feel your love, and strength. Give them the gift of your peace. And let us rally around them in support of the long journey they have ahead of them in healing. God, you ask us to pray for the people who do terrible things, and I know that it hurts you that they turn away from you, so I also pray for the people who did this. Let them realize the damage they have done, and help them to repent to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.