Breaking news alerts and my attention is turned from whatever tasks seemed important at the time. It was quickly apparent this would be so much more than merely breaking news.
The scenes on my TV screen are pressed into my mind. Watching the confusion and hoping that by some incredible miracle no one has died, and then getting the heartbreaking news that several had already passed away. Watching over and over the videos that are replayed of the first explosion, then the second explosion. All of us who are old enough to remember the footage on 9/11 remember the feeling of the second plane. The second explosion. The second ones will almost always mean this was not a horrific accident. Someone did this. Someone wanted to cause death. Wanted to cause destruction, horror and terror. Wanted to cause us to flee from our feeling of security. Flee from familiar places. Flee in terror away from it all.
What became clear so quickly to me when watching the new footage were the people running TOWARDS the explosions. Towards the destruction and towards the horror. However, can we run towards terror? Terror is defined as an intense state of fear. Terror is defined as a destructive act cause to instill an intense state of fear. When I saw those masses of people…police officers, race officials, fireman, marathon runners, bystanders, military…were they running towards the destruction because they were terrorized? No. I will answer with confidence because I saw their faces. Their faces held determination, but not fear. They ran towards the unknown because it is woven into who they are. It doesn’t mean we feel guilty if we are one of the ones who run hard and fast until the horror is far behind us. That is the most common human reaction. The more I watch the footage, the more comforted I feel. That was not my reaction after 9/11. After that day, and for years, I was fearful of so much. I lived in my own state of terror.
I pray I continue to feel comforted by remembering that among the billions of people on this earth, we are surrounded by those who are woven into humanity who will always run towards the horror to help and will not be terrorized. I pray I can be one of those people, but I honestly don’t know.
Evil is imbedded in our world. It is also woven into humanity. There are bombings, murders, sex slavery, labor slavery and so many other untold horrors that are hard to imagine in my cushioned life. However, I will always have faith that there is so much more beauty and good woven into humanity. I will also pray to have the strength to run towards destruction as those amazing people did yesterday in Boston.
May God’s love, grace and comfort blanket the victims and their families.