This was a draining week for me, and from noticing a collective lack of energy in my school and in my yoga class yesterday, I assume for many Americans. Our hearts broke for our brothers and sisters in Boston and Facebook pages were filled with tributes and quotes. It is during these difficult times when I feel the ties that bind us together as a country. I wish that these things would shock me, but I feel I have lived through too many of these tragedies and all of these have happened in my children’s lifetime: Oklahoma City, Columbine, 9-11, DC sniper, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, movie theaters, military bases and now Boston. I am still angry and called to action in my own life, but shocked? Sadly, no. What stands out to me during these times is that the majority of our citizens are law-abiding, good and honest. We disagree in our political beliefs but should never allow our feelings on gun control, political pundits or prayer in schools to divide the beautiful collective feeling we have when we refer to ourselves as Americans. Americans rush to emergency sites. They take off their shirts to make a tourniquet, never asking if the person in need believes in banning weapons or repeats the same religious creed as the rescuer. It’s beautiful. Now allow me to go to a place where you may disagree with me, but it’s in my heart this morning.
My heart breaks not just for the wounded, mourning, but the Mom in me wonders what went wrong with these kids, especially the younger one. Initially, after hearing the father plea that his child was a “good boy,” I had this “oh great another parent with their head in the sand, ignoring their kid’s mental illness” moment. But then I kept hearing over and over from teachers, coaches, friends of the boy that this was completely shocking to them. He really was a nice kid. As a Mom, my soul was aching yesterday that somewhere in Boston was a boy, one year older than mine, hiding, scared and bleeding. You may think he is getting exactly what he deserved, but I need to know more about what went wrong. What turns a kid into a monster or was he lead to do this against his will? This morning I turned on the tv to watch the people of Boston screaming obscenities and “burn in hell” at the ambulance. I had to turn off the tv. I ask that we allow man’s justice to be served and that we all remember, as my parents told me and I tell my kids, “God is God and we are not.” It is not up to us to determine someone’s salvation. I pray that we take the energy of our outrage, the pride we feel today in being Americans and turn it toward prayer for the victims and maybe even a whisper of grace for the 19 year old boy who somehow lost his way.