Last week was awful in many ways. I recently blogged about the Boston bombing but that was Monday! What happened after was even more surreal. Watching the media folks fall all over themselves trying to make a story when there wasn’t a story yet was irritating. How many ways can you repeat the same thing without adding anything to the conversation? Then, something happened, they put video and photographic data together and found suspects. The manhunt was very disturbing. I’m not sure what was worse, knowing that someone had put horrible bombs down beside innocent people and walked away or that the search for the suspects led to an insane exchange of weapons firing with Boston locked down. It was like watching a crazy movie but it was real. Is Congress watching? Gun control would be helpful now!
I found myself feeling anxious, and ill at ease. I wanted to be near my husband to feel safer. These young men were very effective terrorists. I, for one, was scared. I wasn’t in Boston but I was so distressed I’m sure my level of health decreased for the week. I had to cry. Then the faces of the suspects seemed so normal. Over and over you heard people who knew them say they would never have believed this behavior possible from them. As the information is coming in it seems there may be more to this than we thought. I’m sure we will be hearing about this for a long time.
I prayed a lot this week for the families of those killed, for the people in the Boston Marathon, for people living in the area, and for peace. I needed some peace. As I write this I am thinking of 4 deaths at our church. It has been a time of great loss. I have faith and it gives me comfort even in the sadness, the fear, the pain. God’s love gets me through. Keep praying!
I am sitting at the computer working when a news flash catches my eye – Bombs going off in Boston? I stop to look at the news – it is like watching a movie. Is this real? The reports are sketchy but sensational, someone is dead, many injured. They are talking about the Boston Marathon. Thousands gather for the run and all the celebration and joy surrounding it. But as it is winding up a bomb filled with sharp pieces of metal and ball bearings explodes sending these things at high velocity into the flesh and bone of innocent people. There is talk of blood and the sounds of those in pain. People are terrified. They run, but they help each other. The police are there to help. What was a scene of joy and triumph becomes chaotic and tearful.
What kind of person thinks up things like this? Why would anyone ever want to cause so much damage to the fragile bodies of human beings? Did they even consider that a child might be there? These questions go through my mind. I just can’t even imagine wanting to hurt others like that. Protest, maybe. Make a large sign perhaps but to hurt innocent people? It simply does not make any sense to me. There must be great pain to bring on such a lashing out.
As a person of faith I must consider that God is crying too. Why do we do this to one another when God created us to be loving toward each other. I pray for the people of Boston, and for all of us who are hearing about this tragedy. Hopefully, the authors of such a nasty act will be found and apprehended and brought to justice. God is likely weeping for them as well. Save us from ourselves. Still it is in these times that the good side of humanity also shines forth. Hope survives. And yet, the rest of the world suffers worse atrocities, daily. A reminder that we are all connected. Maybe in our pain we will see theirs more clearly so that hope remains alive.
I was privileged to attend the Spring Convocation at Eden Theological Seminary this week. The topic of the Brueggemann and Kulenkamp Lectures was Music: an essential element of the progressive Christian movement. Three inspiring and gifted speakers, Paul Vasile, Minister of Music at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City, Rev. Cynthia Wilson, Dean of Students at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Chicago, and Dr. Christopher Grundy, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Eden shared their experience and passion for music as a means of spreading the message of Love in the world.
I was moved by the singing of music, by the presentation of what this progressive movement is and what is can mean to the church as a whole. Music is and always has been a passion of mine. It struck me that music is sacred and is part of the whole creation. I was thinking how wonderful that musicians share their experience of the sacred in notes and rhythms and was then struck with the idea that all creation does that very same thing.
Consider the rhythm of the ocean, the sound of the birds or insects, the pulsing of the blood through the body which calms a child at her mother’s breast. Even the ticking of a clock or sirens marking the care of one in need can produce emotion in us. Music serves that purpose – an awakening of emotion in the human. It stands to reason that music is essential for any movement that involves the seeking for and encountering the holy.
Then I thought about how silence plays an important role in any music. The rest, the pause, the time to breathe is filled with Spirit! What a lovely couple of days and the joy of sharing that with people who care about sacred music. It is my prayer that the awakening in the soul connects each so intimately with God that the only outcome is love outpouring to serve, to care, to reach higher awareness of others’ needs so that all may be in harmony.