Saturday, April 20, 2013
They raised their hand against everyone and everyone's hand was raised against them
This evening the second of two men who appear to be responsible for bombs that ripped apart innocent people at the Boston Marathon, we are told, has been captured alive. The first suspect was shot dead as he attempted a violent escape earlier today.
Like most people, when I saw the news reports from Boston and the live shots showing a bloody sidewalk, people missing limbs, and pathetic chaos, I was angry. My thoughts first went to justice and making the perpetrators pay. I wondered if it was an act of Islamic terrorism. I wondered if it was some domestic Timothy McVeigh like crazy person. Whoever it turned out to be, I wanted them to die.
The death toll turned out to be three with close to 200 people injured, many of whom lost limbs or suffered serious damage to them. In the manhunt today, another person died- a security guard at MIT. Many lives have been radically altered and made so much more difficult because of the decisions and actions of these two young men. Such a hateful, cowardly act.
When there are mass shootings, massacres, bombings, and other announcements of some crisis situation going on with a shooter or violent person loose, I never think- I wonder who she is?
As it relates to serial killers, terrorists, organizers of violent hate- how many are women? We men have fallen so far from God's calling for us in this world.
When the pictures of these two young brothers were broadcasted, my heart sunk. The younger boy, the one still alive, is only a few years older than my son. There he was, casually walking with his hat backwards- with a weapon of mass destruction on his back, intent on mayhem. What hatred has filled his heart at such a young age! What is so difficult about his life, that he thinks death and destruction poured out on others-including young children- is a worthy legacy to leave? These two brothers made homemade bombs to do their evil deeds. With personal, particular care, they packed common kitchen pots with nails and bb's. Have you considered how conscientious they were in their planning? This wasn't a violent act done in a moment of fury or ill temper. Quite calmly they must have looked up instructions about making such a bomb, and with great sobriety went about piecing the devices together. When a person makes another person a meal, we call it a "labor of love". When these men made their bombs, it was a "labor of vicious hatred". The level of vitriol and rage that must have burned in their souls is difficult to comprehend, even for someone as wicked as I. In my overt judgment of these two men, please understand my own self evaluation and acknowledgement of a personal capacity to do something as evil, save for the grace of God. I believe any person is capable of any evil deed, I really do. Still, when things as calculated as the bombing we just saw or the Sandy Hook shooting or the Arizona theater massacre happen, it does set me back. The depravity of man and the distance it will take us really does rock me.
Really though, it is almost always men who do these things. The entrance of sin in to the human race rendered spectacular violence to the image of God in men. The Genesis account of man's rebellion is no myth, certainly you know this? People aren't generally or basically good- we have to stop propagating that lie. What limit does our evil have without the restraining grace of God? These boys could be my sons, indeed, they could be yours. Please Lord Jesus, intervene in all of our families. We truly need Christ every hour, and in every member of our family's life. I am very glad one of the terrorists is dead and the other has been captured, but I am also reasonably depressed about another instance of men exacting such hateful destruction. Things aren't the way they're supposed to be my friends. Such episodes should drive us all to Christ. He is our only hope for redemption.
It really is incredible the kind of havoc young men can reek. Men are called to be protectors, leaders, servants, and submitted to Christ. To see these two young men in Boston choose to destroy rather than cultivate grieves me. As a father of sons and a mentor of young men, seeing these terrorists go the way of Ishmael (Genesis 16:12) makes me shudder. May God give peace, through Christ, to their victims. May God give us assisting grace to raise up men who love and serve rather than hate and kill.
"He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” -Genesis 16:12