Saturday, April 20, 2013

Making Sense of Tragedy

Like everyone else across the country, I've been checking the TV and social media this week for the latest updates in the Boston marathon bombing. When the alert came across my phone that there had been an explosion at the marathon on Monday, I thought there had been some sort of accident. As new reports started coming in it was clear that this was no accident. This was intentional. This was planned. This was meant to hurt innocent people.

And like everyone else across the country, I found myself asking why. Why would someone do this? Why an event like a marathon with countless innocent people hurt and injured? Why? When the news broke of the capture and death of the first suspect, the country relaxed but only slightly. With his death knew that meant we were further from answering that question. Last night, the second and final suspect was apprehended alive and we all cheered and breathed a sigh of relief. Closure. And perhaps answers.

But maybe not. As much as we all desperately seek answers following tragedy, sometimes those answers are not to be found. Someone commits a horrible crime, confesses why they did it, and still we are left shaking our heads in disbelief. Some things are just not comprehensible. Some things will forever be unanswered and we have to continue to live our lives without those answers.

So how we do we carry on in the midst of or recovering from tragic events? At some point, we have to turn off the tv, the phones and tune out the minute by minute updates. More often than not, this information overload hurts us more than it helps.  Without the distraction of all the noise, it's a good time to take a look at our priorities. Do we spend more time working (or worrying about work) than we do enjoying moments with our family and friends? Do we give of our time and resources to help others? What's our relationship like with God and how much time do we spent praying and worshipping Him?

We can't always make sense of tragedy. But tragedy gives us an opportunity to make sense of our own lives. To check in and reorganize our priorities. To hug our kids and laugh with our significant other. To stress less about the little things and give thanks for our many blessings that we do have.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the many victims in Boston and our thanks to the men and women in uniform. We will never forget but we will heal and remember to make the most of our everyday lives.