As the events of the "Boston Massacre", as my teenage son calls it, unfolded over yesterday and today, I have by turns been overwhelmed by disbelief, concern, horror, anger, fury, pain, sadness, and grief. As each story comes to light it breaks my heart anew, and I cry and sob.
Today, my eight year old son and I ran in honour of those who are affected by the Boston Massacre. I was deeply affected by the poignancy of the fact that I was running with my healthy eight year old son. He was alive. He went out too fast. He stopped. He had to take a few breaks to "tie his shoes". He chattered happily even after agreeing that we would run quietly in memory of Boston. He was a quintessential eight year old, and I am so so thankful, and my heart breaks for the family who lost their happy, vibrant son.
After running together I took Andrew to his lego class at the gym and hopped on the treadmill while he engineered a cool design. The tv stations were a mixture of soap operas, game shows, and news. The juxtaposition between the programmes was painful. I sobbed as the news programmes spent several minutes talking about Martin Richard. No-one else in the gym seemed to mind. Or maybe they didn't notice.
As I pondered on the obvious fact that someone or someones planned this attack to cause the maximum amount of pain, grief, and heartache, I thought "There is a special place in hell for people who do things like this."
And then came a soft voice; a sweet whisper, "This, even this, can be forgiven."
Forgiveness is a loving gift you give yourself. If the person you are forgiving repents, it can also be a gift for them, which is a bonus; the cherry on the cake.
We have all made mistakes. We have all done things to hurt other people. I would imagine that for the couple of people who read this blog, those things are limited to "I really wish I hadn't shouted at my kids and made them cry" or suchlike stuff, rather than the horrific act of intentionally seeking to kill, maim, terrorize, and emotionally damage. And even if the stuff we have done is appalling...it can be forgiven.
This, even this, can be forgiven. It may take time. It make take a very very long time, but at some point in the future...maybe not even on this earth...all will be made right.
In the mean time, we grieve.