Backpacks, Bombs, and Boston
I was sitting in our weekly staff meeting last Monday when one of my colleagues saw a flash traffic report about the Boston Marathon bombing. In the moment, the news did not seem that sensational. A “bombing” is never a small thing but it really was not until our meeting was adjourned and I began to check the news feed myself that the full weight of what was unfolding in the city of Boston hit. What we as a nation witnessed over the next five days, reminded us of, and taught us much.
1. The actions of two men have the power to bring an entire city to a state of “lockdown.” This is the core of terrorism – creating paralyzing fear in the population and changing the course of life. It is estimated that over $1 billion dollars in commerce was lost in Boston over the course of the week. That is on top of the human toll that we will continue to hear stories of over the coming days.
2. Evil can hide in an innocent looking backpack. When we think of evil we tend to think of the obvious evil on display in our world and throughout history. The holocaust, 9/11, etc. But evil always has its genesis in the common. The Nazi party began as a political faction of Germany, and box cutters could / would never be used for more than their design. And on Monday of last week, two young men carried simple black mesh backpacks through the crowded streets of Boston and unknowingly laid them at the feet of their victims as they slipped away.
3. Innocent people always suffer for the sin of the wicked. A drunk driver can take out an unaware family and two brothers can blow apart a young boy, and injure his sister and mother in the process, while at the same time killing and maiming others and bringing a proud city to its knees.
4. We live in a spiritual warzone. We don’t think or talk much about spiritual warfare anymore. The Boston bombing reminds us that this war is alive and well and we all are living in the middle of it. Satan is like a lion seeking to devour and destroy. He is typically incognito much more so than he was last Monday. But every once in a while he rears his head in bold fashion. He does so when he thinks he can get away with it and slip quietly back into the shadows…. or pin his activity on two young men from Chechnya.
5. Good will always triumph over evil. The bad guys have been caught. To be accurate, one is dead and one is in custody. At the news of “Suspect # 2’s” capture on Friday, the Boston streets erupted in revelry and flag waving. A chorus of patriotism has swept the nation from Major League ballparks to NBA arenas. Why? Because good wins. But in the back of our minds, we all know… we all have that acute sense of awareness that next Monday things could all go to hell once again. And why? Because evil still lurks.
6. Whereas the actions of two men unleashed a wave of evil on the city of Boston and our nation last Monday, the action of one Man will once and for all defeat evil and Satan. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (something we celebrated on Easter Sunday just three weeks ago but seem to have already let slip away) is the giant stone tossed into the ocean of cleansing that will one day wash the blackness of evil away in a tsunami of righteousness. The Stone has been cast. The tide is rising. The wave is approaching the shore. And to say that good will defeat evil sells the whole thing short. This is personal. Jesus will defeat Satan…
And all will be well.