I was watching the Fox News Channel just as it was interrupted for a special bulletin. Live reports were just coming in describing two bombs that went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Just then a live, unedited camera feed came on the screen. People were running, screaming, bleeding. Many were on the ground, injured, maybe dead. It was chaos.
My first reaction was horror and disbelief. As the scene unfolded, it was obvious that the explosions weren't from an accident, like a gas explosion, but these blasts were caused by purposely-set bombs! That was even more shocking. Like everyone else, nine eleven came to mind, along with all the other terrorist attacks. How could someone do this? Why would someone do this?
Seeing innocent people hurt and even killed for no reason, tears at your heart. The only good thing about those scenes on TV were the videos of people who were helping others. Some bystanders were taking off their jackets and shirts to give to the injured, some jumping in to pull debris away, and some running to call for help, not to mention the professional first-responders. It makes you appreciate the good in people in the midst of such tragedy.
Being hundreds of miles away doesn't lessen the feel of compassion for those who are hurt, and who especially have lost loved ones in this bombing. As Christians, we should always have a compassionate heart. After all, Jesus demonstrated compassion often, and we should imitate that quality. When someone is mourning, we should mourn with them.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15)
Our compassion should motivate us to minister to others in such situations. By minister, I mean serve, give, help. We may not be able to minister to those in Boston, but rest assured, there will be situations and opportunities to help others - just be poised to do so.
There is one thing you can do to help those in Boston no matter how far away you are......pray. Pray for comfort for those who are mourning. Pray for healing for those who are injured. Pray for wisdom for doctors and nurses. Pray for law enforcement, that they find the person or persons responsible.
I don't see evil ever leaving this earth until the Lord comes back. After all, even Jesus experienced evil. He was falsely accused, scorned, and mocked. Jesus experienced mourning. He cried when Lazarus died. Jesus experienced violence. He was Himself beaten and crucified!
It's comforting to know that we have a Savior who knows our feelings, our emotions, our pains, and our sorrows. But He has overcome them. He has been raised from the dead and is alive! And because of that fact, He is at our side through all our trials. He will never leave us or forsake us.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)