Whenever I hear an ambulance passing or the sound of a fire truck, I panic. Could it be a family member? A friend? Are they heading in the direction of my house? Do I recognize the wrecked car? Tragedy is scary and it’s even scarier when it comes close to the ones you love.
And then there’s tragedy that happens to complete strangers. It’s a sadness for humanity, for another’s struggle, for that helpless feeling in the pit of your stomach. Why would a man open fire at a local movie theatre? Why would someone my age go into an elementary school and shamelessly murder children? And why would someone bomb a father running for his disabled son, a daughter running for her mother with breast cancer, or even just a person running in the world’s oldest annual marathon?
But then you have to ask why evil exists. Why are there bad people? The child inside me is scared. The adult in me is angry. Aren’t we beyond these acts of violence and hate? Do we as human beings not understand the value of a life and the difference between right and wrong?
Obviously not, and there will always be “bad guys” who find their way to the front page. It’s part of the flaw in humanity and our struggles as human beings in sin. But for every bad guy, we can feel confident that there are thousands of more good guys, helping hands, and a united front.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” Fred Rogers
Watching the recorded film of the bomb in Boston, one is overwhelmed with a hope. There is a uniform going into the line of danger. Strangers running to help, to cry with, and to fight for another. No matter what tragedy comes, there will always be more goodness, more people doing the right thing, and a hope that we can never lose or overlook.
So as much as I want to be angry, the best response we can have is to grieve in this hope and to know that evil never wins.