Today I write this post with a very heavy heart. It isn’t the post I planned for today. I spent hours last night trying to understand the evil that drove those responsible for the bombs at the Boston Marathon. I tried to understand how anyone could do something so horrific. What kind of life could they have lived that drove them to ignite two bombs in a crowd of thousands?
As the hours passed during my sleepless night, I went through what I can only believe are stages of grief. In my angry stage, I wanted more than anything for there to be some way that those responsible for planning, building, setting, and igniting those bombs to feel the pain they caused by their senseless act of violence. They altered the lives of thousands, maybe even millions. The world is forever altered – lives are forever changed.
Is it wrong of me to wish that they could feel the moments of fear, confusion, and pain those tired runners and bystanders must have felt? How elated they must have felt as they approached the finish line. Is it wrong of me to wish that those responsible could feel what it felt like an instant later to have their limbs blown off? Is it wrong of me to wish that they could somehow experience the moments that followed, the pain, confusion, the chaos? Is it wrong of me to wish that they feel the pain and anguish days, weeks, months, years later that those injured will experience?
To those responsible, I have this to say to you…
Those dear people you hurt yesterday did nothing to deserve this. You had no right to shatter those runners and bystander’s lives like that. You had no right! I don’t care what’s happened in your life that made you do something so horrific. You had no right.
I have to wonder if the evil in you could have somehow been averted. I have to wonder if there was anything I could have done differently to change you in a way that would have made this senseless act of violence impossible to carry out.
My parents taught me how to love, and they did so by loving me and treating me with a loving hand. I learned how to deal with my anger without using my fists, without tearing into someone else.
Could I have somehow missed helping you learn that lesson? Evil begins small like a stone thrown into a calm pond. The ripples expand, taking over a larger and larger area. Left uninterrupted, it expands to its own limit, at its own rate.
Love, kindness, and goodness ripple and expand in the same way. An act of kindness starts out small, but it takes on a life of its own, and can swell into wave after wave of kindness. I may have never met you, but could I have missed an opportunity to send a wave your way?
I know there is the possibility of evil in all of us. But just because it exists doesn’t mean we should allow it to control us. This morning, to some it feels like evil is winning, that the world I love is really more evil than good.
Well, I don’t accept that! Evil does not control my world now, and it never will. I refuse to believe that this evil is where we are going. I will not allow it to win over my heart, my soul, or the grace granted me.
Until my dying breath, I will continue to treat people the way I want to be treated. I will continue to go out of my way for someone else. I will continue to teach those in my life how to love by loving. I don’t know what happened to you that drove you do something so senseless, but what you did yesterday, was just heartless. You should have been better than that. As I pray for all the victims, you will be in my prayers as well. Will it matter that I pray for you? In my world, it will matter a great deal.
Nancy C. Weeks
Author of In the Shadow of Greed
Release date: 29 April 2013