And so it goes. I have been reading about the Boston Marathon explosions with such sadness. Any more it seems I learn of these tragedies through Facebook. I see a post or so with "Prayers for Boston" and my heart clinches. What now? Whose life is now filled with sadness due to something unforeseen, needless, forgivable yet brutal? And why? I usually Google the phrase from Facebook, read the news with a sad heart, and try to think of something else for a bit. Later I return when I can nibble at the pain and inhabit some kind of temperance with the grief that this new "Nation's Woe" has thrown at its people.
Fear remains the strongest unknown Terrorist Weapon. "We live in hope, die in despair," according to my grandmother's wise words. True on so many levels. Fear and despair are killers. Something called hope motivates us all to live freely during the good weeks--- and some days, to even try at all. God at times seems to inhabit our Fear because He allows pain into the lives of even his most devout believers. Grace? We pray for it even without knowing what grace really means. For years I thought it was something to do with being coordinated, with not falling down in public. Later I came to embrace "grace" as a gift for someone with proper cultural skills--- to accept and be gracious in the face of crudeness. Ladies with grace did not swear, fuss, or slander... Now I have learned it is something akin to the gift of being here every day? With God's goodness being poured out over the feet of an unworthy and ungrateful populace. But I know in my heart Grace is something much more magnificent than just being spared. We have to find out what it means to be grateful for something more than escaping with just our skin.
No mother lives who doesn't breathe a sigh of relief when she hears the voice of her children. Safe. For the moment... We live with the doors hard-barred against the "what if's" and the possibility of personal grief and evil.
I have no relief or answer to this latest tragedy which joins the Sandy Hook shootings, the Theater Massacre for Batman... the murder spree that took place this year on Easter in nearby Moberly, stabbing and killing a 92-year-old woman in violence while her bible lay open, her dear glasses folded on top. News of natural disaster brings even more fear as Tornado Season arrives, and threats of storms devastate our dreams. I surely know that gratitude gives life. Fear and despair bring death. If it is not to be for us to live to see another season, we still must dedicate ourselves to the land of the living while we may. Grace, yes, but only the hesitant first step into it, for sure.
So, for a town I do not know, a prayer and a condolence for healing and peace. And for those of us I do know who are facing pain from many directions, a prayer for comfort, joy, and hope.