What a week this has been.
I arrived in Boston last Wednesday night for the Salvation Army National Advisory Board meeting, already shaken from news of the Boston Marathon bombings. The next morning I woke up to hear about the devastating explosion in West, Texas. By Friday we were part of a city-wide lock down as police searched for the dangerous suspects.
Marcia Larson, a NYC Dow Jones recruiter who has become a good friend, wrote eloquently about our experiencein her blog:
Our National Advisory Board meeting in Boston comes at a difficult time. Monday we all saw a horrible act of violence perpetrated against this city. Innocent lives taken. People’s bodies literally ripped apart by explosions. Terror.
Which means we all want answers.
But like so many mysterious and confounding things about life – there simply aren’t any. Which reminds me that God doesn’t promise us answers.
He simply promises us Himself.
And He’s enough. Or as Tullian Tchividjian says – “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.”
I thought for sure we’d cancel or postpone this meeting but as the Salvation Army administrative assistant Denise Seymour explained to me in the lobby Thursday: “We’re an Army – we don’t run away.”
No truer words were spoken. God runs TOWARD us in our brokenness. He runs TOWARD us in our ugly wretchedness.
Which is why the Salvation Army runs TOWARD the pain, hurt, and fear Bostonians now feel. To bring the healing touch of our Father. Even in the midst of this tragedy, violence, and current lock-down angst.
We all woke up Friday to learn of the shooting of the first bombing suspect. Our hotel was in lock down. I was supposed to meet Tuni Diver, a Boston woman interested in 4word for breakfast, but that didn’t happen. As a group, we focused on remaining calm and going forward with our meeting, knowing that God had called us together at this time and place. Throughout the day, we shared a real sense of purpose and solidarity. Charlotte Jones Anderson our leader, my friend, did a fabulous job of remaining calm.
We deepened connections, sharing on a level we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I had a long conversation about pain and fear with Micheal Flagherty (Founder of Walden Films, which produced the “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Jason Howard (Credit Suisse Private Equity), Allen Chan (Enkei Advisors), and Allen’s sister-in-law, Janet Wu, local anchor, WHDH, NBC affiliate.
When I think back over the last 48 hours, I can honestly say I was never afraid, because my life is His. The Salvation Army group didn’t tremble because their life is His.
Marcia is so right, we all want answers… I know I do. But these kinds of events have a way of clarifying big truths. God doesn’t promise answers because He knows that answers aren’t really what we need.
Our hope in this world is in God. Not in the answers He can provide, but in who He is.
Do you genuinely find comfort from a belief that God is present, in light of tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas explosion? Why … or why not?
Where did you turn for comfort last week?
Editor’s note: This excerpt is drawn (with permission) from Marcia’s poignant – and entertaining – April 19 blog post: I encourage you to read the whole story here. You’ll also find links to keynote speaker Tullian Tchividjian’s resources, and other 4word-curated links, on our resource directory page.