1. First, the closeness of potential acts of terror in our world today. My daughter lives in the Boston area, so my immediate thoughts were of safety for her and her fiancee (and they are fine). Mike Cahill, my colleague, told me of his own feelings here. Mike has run the Boston Marathon before, and seriously thought about doing it this year. He had a good friend who was there, perhaps seconds removed from the first blast. This is our world today.
2. Second, the incredibly stupid reactions I have heard on the radio and the TV. I tuned into one of the radio news stations in Omaha to get updates, and instead of a news feed, they had their usual talk show host. The first thing I heard him say was, “My initial reaction was to think ‘What freedoms will the government try to take away from me as a result of this?'” He then went on to disrespect the President for delaying his press conference a few minutes. “Can’t this President ever be on time? Can’t he do anything right?” What a pathetic response! Selfishness and political partisanship in a time of national tragedy and potential emergency.
3. Third, the depths of human evil that never cease to amaze me. There was an eight-year old boy who lost his life in this. What type of person would think that is justified for any reason?
A troubling parable of Jesus is the story of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-29). In this illustrative story, a farmer is bedeviled with a field where he has planted wheat seed and an enemy has planted weed seed. The weeds are of a type that look like the wheat during the first half of the growth season, so they cannot be pulled until near harvest. To do so then would damage the soil around the wheat stalks and cause them to fail. This wise farmer advises his workers:
30 “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Evil men and women live among us. Seriously evil men and women. And they look like us. We can’t always tell the good guys from the bad guys. We must trust that God knows their hearts, and that his justice will prevail. Evil will not triumph, for God is the Great King Forever.
Nebraska Christian College