April 15, 2013

April 15. My sister’s birthday. Also known as tax day for the U.S., and this year it was the day we learned of exciting news for her, as well as the bombings during the Boston Marathon. It’s a lot to digest in a 24 hour period. The amazing thing about social networking in all of this is the sudden change in mood from hour to hour. A few days earlier my dad had posted his annual distaste for paying taxes to Uncle Sam, quickly followed up with birthday wishes for Kristy…to which she responded to later with a Beyonce song reference and more celebrating…and finally postings about the tragedy in Boston. Just several days later FB now has postings of the manhunt going on to find these suspects, intermixed with sentiments from around the globe of how tough Boston is and how we must stop these senseless acts of violence. I have refrained from commenting on the marathon because honestly, what does it do? How does it make it different? Yes I stand in solidarity with my community of online “friends” that this is awful and there is another way, but that is not who needs to hear this message. It is everyone else. Everyone else who is part of a different community, hearing a different message about life.

For some reason I couldn’t get The Prayer of St. Francis out of my head:

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul!
Make me a channel of your peace:
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.
It was one of my favorite church songs growing up even though I never appreciated the lyrics until much later in life. In the midst of these tragedies we tend to ask ourselves and each other, what do we do now? How do we “fight” this? It’s by doing the opposite. And doing it better. When someone is so angry that all they can do is yell and scream, they need to be understood and loved MORE than they are angry. When we are so down and out that all we can do is cry and feel sad, we need to have an experience of hope that is stronger than that sadness. That is not to say all will be better overnight. We know life does not work that way. But the more we are surrounded with the sentiments of St. Francis, the better chance we have of “fighting” this thing we cannot see but know is there.Peace to the city of Boston. And a prayer for my sister and her husband.