Yesterday morning, I woke up excited that it was Marathon Monday & Patriots Day. Before I moved to Massachusetts, I had no idea what Patriots Day was. Most of the state gets the day off to enjoy war reenactments and go watch the Boston Marathon. It’s a big deal. Being a new runner, I didn’t even pay attention to big races last year. But now that running is my thing, this year was the first time I could revel in and live vicariously through runners in my own town during the Boston Marathon.
I donned my Boston half-marathon shirt proudly to support runners. I ran 3.1 miles at 9:30 am, when the marathon started. As I was running, I had thoughts like, Tons of people are running the marathon now, and I’m running too! I felt empowered by the fact that people train for months & months to run the Boston Marathon. Although I wasn’t running with them, I was excited for them and moved by the power that running has to connect so many people.
I had a pretty normal morning, and then met some girlfriends for a late lunch. Towards the end of our meeting, I got a call. It was my husband’s work phone. Odd, I thought, as he typically doesn’t call from work. In a rather alert voice, he asked me where I was. I assumed he was home early and wondering why I wasn’t home. I told him I was out with friends, not at home. He then explained to me “there were two bombs at the Boston Marathon,” and urged me not to go downtown.
I was totally shocked and baffled by the news. My heart immediately sank and I felt the horror set in. Bombs? At the Boston Marathon? The race I’ve been thinking about all day? The race with thousands upon thousands of people?
We kept the call short, and then I told my friends. We tried to look it up online, but information was pretty limited since the event had literally just happened.
I drove home from lunch and remembered that I needed to go run some errands. But I didn’t even think twice about going anywhere but home. Now was not the time. When I got home, I was planning on cleaning my messy apartment, but the motivation escaped me completely. I dropped my purse in the middle of the floor, left everything in its place, ignored my dog’s pleads to play with him, and got on my computer. I read the news, checked Twitter, Facebook, etc.
And then I was truly flooded with sadness, confusion, and frustration at this world. I cannot begin to understand why an event so good as a marathon and all the people involved would be the victim of such horror. Marathon Monday is a day of joy and a culmination of hard work, determination, and perseverance for runners. It’s a day of accomplishment, not of fear and destruction.
I am at a complete loss as to what to think or say about the event. People didn’t get to finish the marathon, many stopped at mile 21. The bomb went off exactly when the most runners would finish. Two people died, one a child. Dozens of people do not have legs or other limbs. I… I mean, what do you say to that? Recounting it all, I am deeply saddened. My heart aches for those affected.
So many scary things have been happening lately. The movie theater shootings in Colorado, the Sandy Hook shooting, and now this. But this is close to home. This is just miles away… It’s not that ignorant enough to believe that bad things only happen to everyone else, but the reality that this happened in my own town just… makes it all so much more real. I know where this happened. I’ve walked down that street. And now I will hear local news about the victims even more closely because it’s here. All the sudden, the terror of the world is in my own backyard.
My husband came home, and I couldn’t have been more glad to see him. We both exchanged few words, since there was an unspoken somber aura about the day. We did talk about the event after dinner, though.
One of my concerns last night was my future as a runner. I told my husband, “I want to run the Boston Half-Marathon again this year again but…” But before I could utter my concerns about running a large-scale race (about 12,000 people) in Boston, he interrupted and said with complete confidence, “You will. You’ll run the Boston Half-Marathon.” He told me not to let any fear overcome me, because that’s what the enemy wants.
I’m not going to live in fear. I am going to run more races in Boston. And every time I run now, I will think of Boston and all it’s runners. I will thank God that I am able.
I know the world is full of evil, and it scares us. I know the good-hearted people of the world are devastated by this event and what it means. But I have total hope. My hope is in Jesus alone.
When things like this happen, I remember that He has overcome the world. Jesus has already come and is coming again. The world will not stay this way. He is coming to redeem the world. There will be a new creation that is perfect. I don’t have to worry about the horror of this world because of that fact.
Here are some verses that give me hope in this time. I hope they give you comfort too.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:1-3
“Do not overcome evil by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
Here’s one of my favorite places in Boston, the Paul Revere Statue. He is a symbol of strength in times of trouble. Although he was captured, he persevered. Please pray for Boston.