Praying for Boston

Atinuke-DiverLadies, meet Atinuke Diver, or Tinu as she likes to be called, who lives and works in Boston. As you know from Diane’s Monday blog, she was in Boston last week, and she and Tinu had planned to meet for breakfast, but those plans fell through in the chaos of last week.

Fortunately for us, this did lead to a delightful interview with Tinu, who graciously provided her perspective on the tragic week that her city recently lived through.

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4word: Did you grow up in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

Tinu: I’m what you would call a “Boston-Native-Transplant.”  My parents immigrated to the US from Nigeria in the 1970s and had me while living in Boston, but when I was a year old, we moved to the DC Metro area. I studied English and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I stayed at UNC for law school and met the man who is now my husband. He accepted a job offer in Boston, and we moved here in 2007.

4word: So where do you work now that you’re back in Boston?

Tinu: I am an attorney and writer. I practice law at a federal transportation research center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I write regularly at “Yes, We’re Together,” a humor blog about interracial relationships, and have written about race, culture and relationships for various publications.

I pen a monthly column as a Ms. JD 2013 Writer-In-Residence, and am a contributor to the forthcoming book, Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith (White Cloud Press, Oct 2013).

4word: How did you hear about 4word?

Tinu: Through Diane’s book, Work, Love, Pray. At the time I was working on my essay for Talking Taboo which wrestles with the challenge faces by many professional, Christian women who find themselves on the receiving end of the church's deafening silence—and at times outright rejection or animosity—toward any professional ambition and calling beyond the realm of ministry or church service.  I appreciated the ways in which Work, Love, Pray affirmed the breadth of God’s calling for women, and I hope this book is the first of many. I reached out to Diane via LinkedIn, saw that 4word had a Boston chapter, and was really interested to learn more about Diane’s vision for 4word.

4word: Where were you last Monday afternoon? Did you have friends or family running the Boston Marathon? What about friends in Watertown, where the police were searching for the second bombing suspect?

Tinu: I ran the 2012 Boston Marathon and remembered how meaningful it was to see friends and family along the marathon course, so last Monday afternoon I was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon—the corner of Newbury and Hereford Streets—cheering on runners and looking out for three friends running this year.

After one friend finished, and a few failed attempts to get closer to the finish line, I headed home to make my way to the airport for a flight to DC. Once I was settled in at the departure gate, I went on Twitter and learned about the explosion.

Friday morning, I was back in Boston, and I woke up early to run before meeting Diane for breakfast. Instead of running my usual route into Cambridge, I went to the gym in our building, and when I turned on the television, I learned about the shooting in Cambridge and the search for the second bombing suspect. We not only have friends that live in Watertown, but it’s a place where we frequent go to enjoy the park or shop for a Christmas tree at Russo’s. The entire day was just so surreal.

4word: How did you notice the emotional and spiritual climate change in Boston last week?

Tinu: Judging from the reactions of everyone on our flight, I think the city was in a state of complete shock and disbelief. And yet there was also a sense of urgency to figure out what was going on, and a sense of cooperation and a desire to find some way to help. I’m sure many are still processing the reality of what happened last week – I know I am. I’m probably a bit jumpier when I hear a sudden, loud noise, and the sounds of sirens give me pause in a way they never did before.

4word: Has that climate changed now that the suspect has been caught?

Tinu: Since the capture of a suspect this past Friday, in some ways there is a sense of ease but not complete relief – especially for those who lost loved ones, limbs or lives.

4word: What are your prayers and hopes for your fellow Bostonians in the weeks to come as you begin rebuilding? How can fellow Americans and 4word women across the country pray for you and your city?

Tinu: Pray for the peace and prosperity of our city, for the power to love our enemies, for the ability comfort others with the comfort we’ve received, and for the grace to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

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If you’d like to hear more from Tinu, we highly encourage you to check out her blog or follow her on Twitter: @YesWereTogether or @tinudiver.