Prayers for Boston

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We can all agree that today, our prayers are for Boston!

As the news, images, and stories flood the global media channels today, the world reacts to the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. Reaction is a universal response, to be sure. It is, however,  very limiting.

The thing about reaction is at the heart of it, no matter how you present it, it is about reciprocal action. Something happens and a reaction drives the need, desire, and necessity for reciprocal action. Reaction, at its core, limits the possibility for something besides reciprocity.

Sadly, in our world, we have watched these stories unfold time and time again. The reactions always lead to this intense need for reciprocal action. As such, our world continues to be flooded by wars, bombings, anti-national opinions, riots, hate crimes, and terrorist acts. It appears to be a merry-go-round the human race can’t  seem to stop riding.

My curiosity leads me to an alternative to reaction. It was seen in the footage in Boston yesterday. It’s called Response.

We saw civil servants, police, emergency crews, runners, and spectators alike responding to the tragedy as it was unfolding. Brave souls who chose to answer the cries of pain with assistance, aid, and support. We can hear the cries of those reacting, but it’s much more powerful to see the actions of those responding!

A response is really an answer or a reply. It usually presents itself in the form of loving actions, merciful words, and gracious deeds. The weight of who we are as individuals, communities, and nations can be seen in our choices of reaction and response.

As hatred unfolds in our nations, our cities, and even our neighborhoods, what do we choose? As we choose to react in reciprocal actions, what does that say about us? When we choose to respond with gracious action, what does that say about us?

We all have a choice whether to react or respond. My hope is that as a global community we not limit ourselves, but instead we will remember the lives that were torn apart by violence yesterday.  My hope is that we will rise up as brave souls and choose to answer that violence with responsive actions!

We can all agree that today, our prayers are for Boston!

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