It was a full week last week. Either in spite of that or because of that, on Thursday night I found myself running out of time and without inspiration for a weekly letter. I concluded that I would have to skip the week.
Then the events of Friday unfolded, and on a subway ride downtown for a meeting, I found myself writing. Here is what I wrote:
I ate breakfast to the news that the whole city of Boston was under lockdown as police searched for one of the men believed to have set the devastating bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday.I got about that far by the time I finished the subway ride back, but then I checked my BlackBerry and found a message from my son, and another from his high school, saying there had been a bomb threat and the school had been evacuated. By the time I got home, things had settled down, but by the time everything had sorted out and I had reconnected with Johny the afternoon was done and the weekly letter wasn’t!
Going about my regular activities at home and at work, I have tried to imagine what it is like for a whole city full of people to be told to stay in their homes and keep their doors locked. Our door at home is seldom locked when we are home. I try to think what it would be like to lock it and tell my son that he couldn't go to school or out to see his friends, couldn’t leave the house at all. Would we be afraid to even let the dogs out?
This kind of thing may be familiar in various parts of the world, but it is beyond the usual experience of North Americans. We don’t expect it in a place like Boston. We don’t expect it could ever be where we live. But it did happen in Boston, and it makes me wonder about where people find faith in the midst of such fear.
What do people think about when they are ordered to lock themselves in their homes? Do they pray? Will they ever feel the same again about their homes, and their city? About their world?
Maybe there isn’t much more to say, except that sometimes the stories end up a little too close to home.
The psalm for Sunday’s lectionary was the 23rd Psalm. It isn’t that evil won’t exist, but that in the comfort of our good shepherd, we need not fear it. Isn’t that enough.
Peace be with you.