The Boston Marathon explosions: Should we prepare for tragedy?

The natural reaction to yesterday’s events is fear.

By: Linden Figgie

I’ll be honest, I’m afraid.

With the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday, I can’t help but wonder, where next? Among other locations, we’ve seen it at a movie theater, an elementary school and now an annual athletic event. These places, these times, these people are part of our everyday, routine, normal, nine-to-five lives. Where next?

When I go to class, I don’t prepare for a tragic disaster. I don’t wear my metal armor and steel-toed boots to the grocery store. I don’t think about dying when I wake up or my family and friends disappearing when I go to sleep. But should I?

While I’m both physically and relationally removed from the recent catastrophes, I can’t help but feel a pang, a sadness, even anger, because those people’s stories, those people’s losses and unfathomable anguish could be my story. It seems as if we are getting the memo to plan for the “What ifs,” to be on our guard. But how do you plan for tragedy? How do you plan for disaster?

I say this with an aching, pondering, confused heart: I don’t think we can. And perhaps more importantly, I don’t think we should. I think what we should do is remember that we are all living the same story from a different character’s perspective. One person’s loss is our loss. One person’s victory is our victory. If we are living the Kingdom story, we are living for something much greater than any tragedy could ever take away.

So where next? The next chapter, the next page, the next scene in which we have the privilege to live fully and completely for a much greater calling than we could ever imagine.

And yet, I’m still afraid.

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