I started this post last week right after the horrific Boston bombings. The first line read "Evil is here." I was haunted by the images of people just minutes before the explosions. They were just standing there.. smiling...laughing... living. They had no idea that the two men walking behind them were making a decision that would change everything.
The one that struck deepest was an image of Martin, the little boy killed in the blast, smiling and looking down the street waiting for his dad to cross the finish line. The two bombers stood behind him and looking at the people around them. People would die, they knew that, they wanted that and they carried out that plan. How are we to stand in a grocery line with strangers and not look at every person wondering who.. and when.. and why?
I do not care what religion these two men were. I do not care what their family life was. I certainly do not want to know what their plans were with the rest of the bombs that they had in their possession. What I do care about is how two people get into such a dark place that killing other people is an option.
When did people become pieces in a game of death and destruction. I know that countries have been fighting to defend their beliefs and advance their position for as far back as time goes. I get that. I understand it. But how can the death of an innocent eight year old make a statement for you?
What I want to know is... When did people stop being people. When did we stop looking at each other with the humanity that we were all born with. And how do you stand in a group of living, breathing people and make a decision that will end their lives.
Then it occurred to me. The more that I dwell on the pictures of evil that are constantly being shoved in our faces, the more of my humanity I lose. I already think every person at the park is there to abduct my children and every person that walks down my street at night is a murderer. I have already begun to group people together as threats to my family and my own security. The deeper that is rooted, the stronger hold I allow it to have, the bigger chance I have to act on the perceived threat. For me, that might be never letting my kids go to the park. For my neighbor that might be setting a bomb off in a group of innocent, undeserving people.
But you know what happened when the bomb went off? People ran to help. They tore through barricades toward danger. Not knowing if another bomb would go off. Not understanding completely what had just happened. They just rushed to help. They offered comfort to the injured and they risked their own lives. They held tight to each other while strangers carried strangers away from the evil. And that, is where humanity made it's screaming return.
You see, if you focus on the love and courage that happened that day, evil gets smaller. And if you continue to believe in the goodness of people, bonds are rebuilt. And if you know that God's love is surrounding us, life is less scary.
Evil is here. There is no doubt about that. It lurks among us. But every time it strikes, goodness is there too. Humanity gets a chance to shine and people are refueled with the hope that people will and do take care of each other. It's the small things, we all know this. Smile at people, offer help to those who need it.. care about the people around you. If you do these things, everything goes back into balance again. Bad things are going to happen, but good things will too.
So my first draft said Evil is here... But I think the title of this post will be... Boston strong/Humanity strong.