The events of this past week in Boston have affected us all here at Drew University. Our thoughts and prayers go to everyone affected in this tragedy.
Here are some of the thoughts and prayers sent by students on campus, posted here as tribute:
“I heard the heartbreaking news from Boston just as I’d returned from a weekend of reflection on my time at Drew and my ministry ahead. I am reminded of the powerful call we all have to do the work of peace and love. Today, we hold the residents of Boston and all those affected by violence and hate in prayer.” – Janessa, TSA President
“Praying for the safety of the people in Boston, especially Waterton right now, and for the recovery of those who were injured. Praying for the comforting of those who lost loved ones. Praying there may be healing now, and forgiveness someday. Praying those wishing to harm will be stopped, first for the good of innocent others, and for their own good.” – Lana
“God is always with us even when things appear to be out of our control he is there. In the midst of darkness light is there in his steps ever near. Boston you are in our prayers.” – Nilsa
“I was angry with the world, humanity, and even God the day the tragedy happened. However, the following day I was no longer angry, but hopeful for the future after witnessing God’s grace and love portrayed in acts of kindness for the perfect stranger.” – Chris
“Oh Great Jehovah thank you for your grace that is new every morning. Grant peace and comfort to the families of all the victims. Grant that your peace will begin to abide in the hearts of all your creation. Continue to strengthen all who hear your voice that we may work towards peace on earth. In Jesus name we pray. Amen” – Harriet
“What a horrible day, when we saw what had happened at the Boston Marathon. My husband ran a marathon several years ago, and I can’t even imagine what many of the families are going through. The finish line is sacred ground to runners… to have that violated is affecting runners everywhere. Our hearts are broken with you. Peace to your city this day, and beyond. Know that we are thinking of you and sending our love.” -Laurel
We would like to end this tribute with a beautiful article, written by Christine Smith, that poignantly lays out the rush of emotions on that fateful day.
“Again We Grieve”
Boston on Marathon Day, tax day for many, a Monday, a Sunny day in the Northeast. First it came from a friend on chat, did you hear ? Did I hear what? About Boston she answered. Then the Facebook feed started to change, PRAYERS FOR BOSTON read a friends post. I was on the phone with a customer service agent trying to pay a bill, I asked him if he was in the United States, he said no, I told him and we sat for a moment in silence not knowing what to say before we continued on with the task at hand. My fiancee was at the grocery store, I asked him if he knew when he got back a few moments after I turned on the television for the first time this semester. He had not heard. We held each other and I cried, he asked if I was scared, reminding me that everyone I knew was safe, I was crying for our world, the world of my children, the world that someday will be home to Grandchildren of mine. He understood and held me a little tighter.
What do we do when our world is turned upside down? Where do we turn? Here, on the campus of my seminary, I am sure many have gathered in the chapel, I will go there too, later. I am sure that many will go to their synagogues, chapels, mosques, cathedrals, temples, churches and houses of worship of all creeds and doctrines we will cling to each other and ask why? Some will blame, some will be angry with God, or Muhammad, or Buddha, but no matter where or who or how we worship, in some way one thing will be universal; we will gather together.
That is how it is intended to be. We do not live in this world in isolation, we live in community. We were created to compliment each other and work together. I am a Christian, you may not be, maybe you are one of the people who mark the box labeled “none” when the form says religious affiliation, maybe today you will not?
This weekend many churches and religious institutions will see an increase in attendance, that is what we do, we seek sanctuary, in whatever way we define it. My fervent prayer tonight is that “we” (those of us who attend, and those of us who lead) we will greet all who enter, with the open arms that God calls us to have, may God’s arms surround you and your family tonight, and may you be the arms of God in this world as you go through the week. God Bless You.