We were all in shock yesterday as the events unfolded at the Boston Marathon. When bad things happen, we usually are shocked at first. Then we grieve. We hurt. We cry. We scream, "Why??" We pray. We help, and to quote the beloved Mr. Rogers, we "look for the helpers."
Since a few weeks prior to this, I've already been grieving and hurting and screaming about a loss that has rocked me to the very core and has broken my heart into millions of pieces that can't possibly be fully repaired. I'll write about that sometime, the sudden passing of my dear kindred spirit on earth.
So as I'm already on the verge of tears every second of every day, the news yesterday morning that a beautiful blogger named Kate of Chasing Rainbows said goodbye to her son that so many of us had been praying for - it seemed like more than anyone could bear. And then the explosions at the Boston Marathon brought yet another tragedy into more lives.
It's too much. It's all too much.
And so I pray. I pray for those hurting and for those who have lost. I pray for our world and for love to reign. I pray for peace and for comfort, for all and for me. And when I don't feel like I can pray, when I feel too angry or bitter or "what's the point?" to pray, I take a big breath, and take one more step, and say, "I know you can hear me, anyway, God, and I know you'll be there waiting when I can start up again."
And then I look outside and see new life. I look at my husband and my children and I see love and joy, and eventually a smile or a laugh comes from me. I remember that there is no sadness or pain in heaven, and that those I've lost are there together, and have faith that one day I'll see them again. And that brings me joy, too, in the sadness of missing them.
And I look for the helpers, and I look for ways to help. Whether that's donating money to charities providing aid, or directly to families, or being a shoulder for someone to cry on or cry with, or an ear to listen, or writing a note, or praying. Or doing more. Or all of the above. There is something I can do, no matter what my strength. Something you can do, no matter what your strength.
And this cycle starts all over again. Pray. Breathe. Take another step. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Pray. Breathe. Take another step ...
Cherish those you love, and let them know. Squeeze them tight and make some memories.
And slowly, every day, there is light that comes out of the darkness. And there is morning after night.