Fear Sad Angry Lonely
I felt fear and sadness when the news of the bombing in Boston erupted upon our television screens. Later that evening, my initial feelings about the incident gave way to an even deeper fear and sadness over what was becoming of our country. I posted the following statement on my FB status: “911 burst through the ‘innocence’ of our borders and fundamentally changed our nation in ways no one could have imagined. This horrible tragedy today in Boston will have a ‘doubling down’ effect. If you have done much international travel you have seen it and felt it – only to be comforted by your return to the USA. That is changing. The loss today is very personal (almost hard to imagine) and very national (we are the world).”
Boston Strong? Really? A 25 year old blows up a pressure cooker and kills and mames innocents. Then his 19-year-old brother evades a military style manhunt that keeps an entire city under lockdown at a cost of $333,000,000 per day. And when the 19-year-old fugitive is finally captured before he has a chance to bleed to death in the back of a covered boat, we celebrate in the streets convinced the “threat” is over . . . as if it’s over. On the contrary, killing one bomber and capturing another did not end anything -- it only exposed two realities: we are vulnerable and our demonstration of “strength” masks our true weakness.
One citizen interviewed in the post-capture celebration stated while shaking his clenched fist like a hammer, “Moments like this don’t show our weakness, they show our strength.” Whose strength? What strength? Ours? It felt like I was watching an ant shake its fist at a giant.
I'm not advocating weakness in the face of those who wish to hurt us or destroy our way of life. I just don't think what I saw in the outfield at Fenway had anything to do with strength. It was more like the rage that stems from unacknowledged un-surrendered fear.
This rings of a greater strength than the loud but thin protests that imply "you can't get to me!" The truth is they can and they did -- and it hurt!
The Bible presents a picture of strength where stout yet humble men like the apostle Paul declare from bended knee (as opposed to hammered fist) that in his weakness he is strong . . . preferring to boast about his weakness that the power of Christ might dwell in him.
One Boston media headline exclaimed, “City unites in the face of terror.” My sadness and fear is that we seem to have united around a misguided confidence in our strength as a people rather than the strength of a God who gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud.