Most of you readers know that I'm a Boston girl. So you'll understand how bizarre it must feel to be sitting on my couch at 3pm on a Tuesday because our offices are part of a crime scene. You can understand how my heart still races when I think about evacuating my building yesterday to stand amongst the dazed pedestrians and simply wait and hope that Drew would show up. With cell phones down and a street full of panicked strangers, you're left with hope and prayer. Drew, who works a few blocks from the explosions, did show up. You can imagine how eerie it must feel to me that I wrote a post about hope just a few days before all of this sadness. Even eerier when I read "part two", which I wrote Sunday night and had planned to post yesterday: Marathon Monday.
You can imagine how many times I reread my own words, thinking "Do I really believe this? Still? In spite of it all?".
I do though. Strangely, now more than ever. Because in the face of tragedy, we are drawn to hope, not despair. Not just Bostonians- tough as we are- but humans. I've heard people talking about prayer and God more in the past 24 hours than I've heard all year in this city. Park Street Church was packed to the brim, the sidewalks were scattered with groups of people praying.
Because at the end of the day - especially at the end of yesterday - we need to believe in hope. And it seems we need to believe our hope comes from God.
I feel grateful to be among those that escaped the city yesterday, healthy as can be. I feel grateful for the endless calls and texts of prayer and support we received in that time. I feel fortunate that none of my friends or family were affected. But I still feel dark and heavy when I think of the people who can't say the same.
Sometimes it feels blithe and almost disrespectful to talk about the hope of God amidst a tragedy like this. As though I'm some sort of cosmic ambulance chaser, just hoping to take advantage of human vulnerability. On the other hand, it seems right and good and purposeful to talk about things that are good and right and purposeful. Because I really believe these things, even in spite of it all. ESPECIALLY in spite of it all. And it seems I am not alone. It seems our human instinct - that innate search for hope that we all had as kids, searches for God in tragedy. Because if our existence ends here, if humanity is all we have - we in our brokenness and darkness and fear - then what's the point?
We're holding out for hope and I just want to be another voice saying YES.
So continue in your prayers for Boston. Weep with those who weep but continue in hope. Continue to beat back darkness with light. I really think that's what we're here to do.
Below is Part 2 of this series I have been writing on what I believe:
2. I believe hope comes from and should be invested in Someone bigger and better than me.
Every student of the human condition; be they philosophers, theologists, psychologists, anthropologists, doctors, nurses, midwives or therapists would tell you that the human search for hope proceeds in phases which extend outside of ourselves, beyond our fellow man and to a higher power.
People are selfish and broken. Things are finite and without answers. It's the spiritual realm - not the social or material - that gives us hope. There is something in us that is immaterial, complex and developing. We are not just animals, we are more than instinct - we have choices, thoughts, decisions, dreams, musings.
So I believe in the Divine.
If the search for hope leads me to the spiritual realm, I require a diety that is beyond my creation or comprehension. I've never quite understood how some people can worship something they made with their own hands or devised through their own calculations. I believe we come from an intelligent spirit.
The more we learn about the intricacies and marvels of science, the brokenness and depth of the human spirit, the unreliability and beauty of the human relationship, the more we are realizing the inevitable existence of the supernatural. Wonder and tragedy suggest that we are not all that there is. We're only part of the story.
So there it is: I believe in hope. And I put my hope in God. Now, more than ever.