Susan Russell posted a beautiful prayer by Steven Charleston:
"Come, Spirit of God, come stand with us in this darkness. Hold the fallen in your arms. Heal the injured. Comfort the broken-hearted. And if you cannot tell us why we do this to ourselves, show us how to love more deeply, that such pain will never be the final word, but rather mercy that needs no explanation. Amen."
I was quite taken by Bonnie Ford's article on ESPN:
I had another sensory memory of the one and only other time I wrote about the regular people on the course of a major marathon. It was in November 2001, when I stood at the finish in New York City and watched runners stream across. Seeing them run for joy, rather than in mortal fear as they'd done just two months before, and seeing people bow their heads in thanks after wrapping themselves in foil blankets, deeply thankful not for the time they'd logged, but simply for being alive, was a profound experience.
I am stricken by the reversal of that image here in Boston, the fact that people were running away from something terrible seconds after running toward something good. But I also know that will turn again.
Amateur marathoners push themselves for a whole host of reasons. To test their physical and psychological limits. To raise money for worthy causes. To compete. The next time this -- or any -- marathon is run anywhere in the world, they will run for yet another. To show that the power of communal achievement can be beaten on one day, but not on most days and never indefinitely. And that is what makes sense on a senseless day.
And, finally this cannot be forgotten:
On the same day as the bombings at the Boston Marathon, 31 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in a series of explosions across Iraq. (Here's the BBC account).
While we are certainly shocked and profoundly saddened by what happened in Boston, we need to be in solidarity with those afflicted by terror around the world. We must see that our human spirit is wounded whenever people give way to violence. At the same time, we are called to be a people who refuse to allow these tragic events to define us as human beings. God's vision is one that finds new life even in the midst of destruction: at home, and across the world.