What I Wish Terrorists Understood

4 years ago

{By "terrorist" I mean, "a person who terrorizes or frightens others".  It can be anyone intending to dominate, coerce or overcome using fear.}

 

Yesterday I drove from Portland to Salt Lake City.  It's a 13 hour drive.  Being alone on the road for that long makes my mind wander and yesterday I could not stop thinking about what happened in Boston.

On Monday my sister had just finished her first Boston Marathon.  She was about 3 blocks past the finish line when the bomb went off.  I was on the phone with her as she was running away from the scene.  I checked in on her and her roommate all day and was so scared for them.

As I drove, I was processing this whole event.  I expected to feel very angry or anxious or defiant.  But the craziest feeling washed over me.  Sadness.  Of course I am sad and heart broken for all of the people who were injured, terrorized and traumatized.  For those families who lost loved ones and for those spectators who were so severely hurt, my heart weeps for you.

But the sadness that overwhelmed me was for those people who perpetrated this crime.  Those aiming to hurt, kill and terrorize.

What a sad life that must be, to come to the point where you intentionally harm innocent people.

As I watch those videos over and over of people fleeing the scene I see people putting their arms around one another.  Strangers helping strangers.  Mothers holding children close.  Friends reuniting with hugs and tears.  I see love and compassion and relationship and mercy.  I see humans living up to what God intended them to be.  A reflection of his heart here on earth.

And if we look around at the outpouring of love and prayers and goodwill, I think it's safe to say that in tragedy, love prevails.  We are compelled to be the best versions of ourselves when we hurt together.

What this person {or people}  intended for evil, has actually birthed so much good.

The bombs were intended to splinter us - our bodies, our spirits, our will.  But the second the blast hit, that crowd became one.  One rushing to the injured.  One racing for safety.  One finding their way to friends.  One helping strangers and wearing race shirts and running to honor the fallen and injured.  One, all across the country and all across the world.

So, this makes me think that the broken ones really aren't the people who were rushed to the hospital on Monday afternoon.  Perhaps the broken ones are those that think they can fix things by causing harm to the innocent.

I wish I could sit them down and look into their eyes and speak a few things straight to their hearts.

This is what I would tell them:

 

1.  We are not so different.


My hearts beats to be free and loved and respected and listened to, just like yours.  I have a mother and father and sisters and family who have loved me and hurt me and shaped me.  When I see my children, my heart breaks a little for the hurts I know they will experience in life.  I want a world that is safe and whole and good for them.  I get up in the morning and look out my window at the world and wish I could change so many things.  I breathe in and breathe out and love the feeling of the sun shining on my skin.  I thirst for justice and righteousness.  No country I'm from or name I am called or clothes I wear or job I have can totally define the complexity of who I really am in the depths of me.  No one will ever know me completely.  I sometimes feel like nothing I do matters at all.  I get scared and lonely and anxious.  And I just want to be loved.  Like, really loved.  Love that doesn't sting or judge or leave me wanting for anything.  Love that fills me from my core.  And whether or not you know it yet, you want that love too.  You are desperate for it.

 

2.  Your story matters.

 

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