Written by Mike Herold
April 16, 2013
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
-“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr., April 16, 1963
Even though Dr. King wrote these powerful words 50 years ago today during the civil rights movement in our country, I feel they take on a new meaning in today’s world, especially since we experienced another act of senseless violence with yesterdays bombings in Boston. This act of terror and cowardice by the perpetrators has the same results in Boston as they do in Iraq, as they do in Afghanistan, as they do in Pakistan, and as they do in any other country that experiences this type of violence; innocent people are killed and wounded, families are sent into mourning and coping, and once again our souls release tears as we deal with evil in the world.
Yes, the evil force probably smiled yesterday when this first happened, but not for long. People who were near the finish line in Boston rushed to the wounded alongside the first responders to help in any way they could; moving wreckage to help get to the wounded, carrying the wounded to safety, just trying to help in whatever way. They did so disregarding their own safety in a very unstable situation. As President Obama said, we stopped being Democrats and Republicans, and became Americans.
And we who are Christians should take our inspiration and action from this type of community response. When we see this type of horror happen wherever in our world, we must follow the teachings of our Risen Christ, and really live Jesus’ edict of loving one another. And we must keep doing this every day as we pray for those who suffer, no matter what their spiritual practices may be. Last year after the shootings at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI, I went to an interfaith vigil at a church in Whitefish Bay. We weren’t Lutheran, or Catholic, or Jewish; we were people of faith who gathered together to show support in the best way we knew how to-we prayed for peace.
So we still hurt. But let us give our hurt to the source of comfort and strength in our lives. Let us turn to the one who is Risen, giving us the hope of eternal grace. Let us turn to Christ, the one who will heal our wounds.
Let us do so in prayer.
Lord Jesus, we pray that you lay your healing hands and tender mercies on all those who mourn the loss of loved ones and worry about the recovery of the injured, not just in Boston, but wherever evil has struck down the innocent. You are our strength in these difficult times. Help us show others the love and caring that we have learned from you. In your most Holy name, we pray.
– Mike Herold