I'm sorry I've mostly disappeared from this blog, friends. It's been a difficult spring for me. And then Marathon Monday happened. It's been a painful, anxious, and bewildering couple of weeks here in Boston. My first job out of seminary is right around the corner from the Tsarnaevs' house in Cambridge. My current office is .7 miles from the now-infamous Watertown boat. My choir rehearsal was moved to a new place because our old place is at the marathon finish line. Seeing the neighborhoods where I live, work, and make music on CNN has been surreal. My husband would have worked the marathon that day if he had not been too sick to go in. The BU student who died is a friend of my former seminary classmate. My friends and neighbors work at the Rindge and Latin school, and the kids I teach in Sunday School attend there. Today one of my kids said, "This doesn't hit close to home; this IS home." He's right.
Krystle Campbell was one year older than I am; Tamerlan Tsarnaev was
one year younger than I am. Reading the stories of the dead have left me
wondering what people will say about me when I die. If I don't like
what I think they'll say, what are the behavior and attitude changes I
need to make now? If I died today, would my friends and family know how
much I love them? Who would miss my ministry if I died
now? These are the things I have been thinking in the past couple of weeks as I try to
process all that has happened.
This time, I really have finished our blog series. Seriously. I wrote scheduled all the rest of the posts through May, starting this Wednesday night. Third time's the charm?
In the meantime, here is an article from Slate that reflects on the bombings and the nature of evil:
“The Insane Root That Takes the Reason Prisoner”: Macbeth, Boston, and the two paradoxes of Evil
I've been thinking about it a lot, and about the idea that we harbor both noble intentions and evil urges within ourselves. Dzokhar definitely was under the influence of a brother who abused his wife and believed a perversion of Islam, and in a sense he "knew not what he did". On the other hand, he dropped a bomb in a group of children and walked away- a very conscious act. A professor I once had preached a sermon once and he touched on Harry Potter. He admires Harry's character because Harry acknowledged both sides of himself and he chose to do the right thing again and again. I think it's easier to label people as evil and vilify them than it is to acknowledge the evil impulse within us and to wrestle with it (and master it). What do we do with all this? I don't know yet, other than to hold dear God's compassion and justice both.