Southie Progressive Magazine

Our Common Values: Unity, Hope, Love, and Empathy

Where was God on April 15 , 2013?


We will never have any earthly answers to the questions we have asked ourselves since the Boston Marathon Bombings last year. Why did a child and three young adults die violently at the hands of hate? Why did Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and Officer Sean Collier die at the hands of unmitigated evil? Why were so many maimed? Why were Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev so full of hatred that in a paroxysm of violence they destroyed or changed forever so many lives?

It is doubtful that we will ever know the answer to these painful questions. And the lack of answers creates even more pain. It is in these moments we beg for omnipotence. We prayer so hard for the answer to the question: Why did my loved one die in such a violent tragedy? But we are human, and we may never know how to answer the question that makes our souls ache with the heaviness of injustice–a heaviness in our souls compounded with the hollowness of grief.

We turn to God. We ask God these questions. But God does not respond. God’s silence does not mean He is deaf to our prayers, or unaware of our suffering. God grieves with us. In my experience, words have done nothing to console my grief. The presence of a loved one is comforting. The silent presence of a loved one helps us keep our sanity during those miserable, painful nights–the nights that we cry ourselves to sleep. Remember, when facing those nights by yourself, you are not alone. God is with you. Be aware of His Grace and Love.

God has given us free will. God does not interfere with human actions. God did not take the lives of young Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and Officer Collier. Most of us believe in a loving God. Jews and Christians refer to him as “father”. When the people asked Jesus how they should pray, he said, “Our Father”. We are his children. He wishes not for us to suffer. Surely he does not randomly take the lives of his children. He cannot interfere in humanity’s everyday behaviour. If he could, he would have saved 6 million Jews from dying in the Holocaust. He would have saved Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingnzi Lu, and Officer Sean Collier.

Do not blame God, but find solace in that God grieves with us; that he too lost his children to violence. God can give us the grace and love we need to overcome such tragedy. God can give us strength.

Moreover, God can help us overcome hatred. We know he advocates love. And in striving for this love, we can begin to overcome the violence human beings unleash on one another. Here we cannot help but to point out the wisdom of little Martin Richard. Engraved in my mind is his beautiful piece of art that tells humanity, “No More Hurting People! PEACE!

Martin Richard and his Beautiful Work of Art and Sagacious Words

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