And a heart shatters.
And the eyes can hardly stay open to the fractured lives and the severed selves and the loss…oh the loss…
I ache for the city I once called home. Though suburb-lived and miles south, I still called Boston my own for 3 years. I knew subway routes by heart and the Lowell line train schedule stuck in memory.
From internship in the heart of downtown, to days spent exploring on my own time, to sightseeing with loved ones – I clocked days’ worth of time on these streets. I took this picture above while on a harbor sailing cruise one sunny afternoon. The mirrored walls of a skyline gleaming against bare rays.
Beauty. History. And today, a reminder of a people who rally. Who are proud. Who are generous.
I miss my time there more than ever today. I could hardly breathe when I heard the news. And it took hours for my brain to transfer to my fingers and finish reaching out – confirming those I thought might have been there – assure my stifled breath of their safety. Shaking for hours from the inside out…I still cannot grasp it all.
One of the first friends I communicated with said it aptly, and I cannot think of another word more suitable: Nightmare.
That’s what this is.
I could not bear to see the graphic images. I quickly had to look away. To stop reading the reports.
I stop instead on the accounts of rescue, the immediate (and I mean immediate) rallies of aid.
While pavement still pounds and glass still pours and some instinctively run away others run towards.
Binding up the wounded, they ran into danger. Into the showers of shrapnel and sounds of agony, strangers risked uncertainty for strangers.
Runners who had already completed the marathon picked up pace again and ran
– actually raced again –
full speed to hospitals nearby
to empty their own blood still safely kept in veins so that others gashed open could survive. Heroes. Every one.
And so tonight, donned meagerly in one of my favorite Boston shirts, I sit here, unable to do anything for the affected.
I would stay overnight in blood banks to give if I were there.
I would do anything physically, mentally, emotionally able.
Yet all I know I can do from here is to pray.
To pray and to type is all I seem to be equipped for.
But I know prayer to be no small thing. And I know God to be no small God.
He is magnificent and magnanimous and capable. He hears and grieves and soothes and mourns. He is bigger than our confusion and anger. Our pointed fingers and hopelessness. He is good. All the time. I fiercely proclaim this truth that I know with every fiber of my being. He is good. Man is corrupted. Evil is real and destruction is the passion of the prince of darkness.
But evil does not get to win.
Even on the darkest days. When limbs are lost and families are broken. There is still light. There are strangers who splint up the shattered and volunteers who disarm the danger, brave men and women who show that goodness rises from clouds of dust and debris.
I choose to see such light. I choose to rely on the grace.
I choose to bend low in surrender all that I cannot control.
For today, I’m reminded Whose hands are capable. Whose hands were pierced for all the broken and bleeding.
Tonight I am grieved.
He hears. He heals.
*For another heartfelt echo of what today has done, head to Lisa-Jo
for the hearts of her and Hilary
. Beautiful words. They graciously asked for and used some dear photos of mine from my time in Boston. I am ever-grateful for their beauty
, these God-directed women, these writer friends.