It was supposed to be an event to remember, but not in the ways that will now mark yesterday’s Boston Marathon – the city’s celebrated 26.2-mile race on its 238th annual “Patriots’ Day.” Now the world will mostly remember the horrific scenes from a brutal attack which killed 3 and injured at least 176. Terrorism, of some stripe.
Some 25,000 people were gathered in the capital city of Massachusetts – including runners from across the globe. My wife hails from Boston. Our nieces and nephews were there for the race, and not far from the bombings. Throngs of eager onlookers celebrated near the finish line, at least until the explosions rocked the city just before 3:00 in the afternoon. One of our nephews, a student at Northeastern, texted me and described the scene as “surreal.”
No suspects have been named, so – at least for now – authorities are uncertain regarding the precise origins of the attack. But we are not.
What can shatter the festivities of a legendary race just hours after it starts? Evil. Plain and simple. What leaves in its wake a dead 8-year-old boy, severed limbs, and widespread injuries from indiscriminate projectiles of shrapnel? Sin in the world.
What Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office Richard DesLauriers described as a “despicable crime,” we know to be straight from hell itself. Hard as it may be to face, this is our post-Adam world.
The bad news is that bad things – terrible things – can happen to those we love. The wages of a sin-stained planet. None of us is immune. We’re all in jeopardy.
Has God lost control of this world? Hardly! John Frame puts it like this: “God uses evil for a greater good … God uses evil for His good purposes, but some of the ways include displaying His grace and justice, judging evil, saving sinners, shocking sinners so that they will repent …”
Sometimes people repent when they realize that there is no safe place.
David declared (Psalm 23:4): “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
For every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord is our Shepherd. His life, and His death, are our only hope.
May Christ be our safe place today. And if there is anyone in your life whom you have not told the Good News of our Savior, then the day after Boston’s famous marathon just may be the perfect day.