More tragedy, more struggling to explain to our children why our streets are exploding in yet more violence. Once again our national consciousness is raised and we are reminded of what we can be when we draw together. Boston could have been any city, really. The city itself is not heroic, although the response of its citizenry may be. It’s easy to cheer for the heroes, to cry with the maimed and to grieve with the families of the dead. It has become too easy.
Why don’t we react with the same righteous anger to similar tragedies happening everyday in our neighborhoods? Why don’t we cry out in collective anger over the rape of a young black woman in small town USA or over the sound of incessant gunshots in impoverished Chicago neighborhoods? Sometimes it feels like our values are selective and triggered only by mass horror. That’s probably not fair but that’s how I feel.
But now … now we face the “how?” How are we called to respond to the killers, to the perpetrators of violence? Can there be redemption for them? Or have we balled up and stuffed God neatly into our personal systems of justice, banishing all thought of love and mercy? The injured, those traumatized, the families of those killed have every reason, every right to be angry, to grieve. Even, perhaps, to hate. Maybe it has been left to the rest of us to do the forgiving. Pray for strength. Pray justice. Pray for peace.
Kathy Flynn, Candidate