Why? That’s the question. Why do something so senseless? The Boston Marathon for years has been a ray of hope, a non-political gathering of people from throughout the world to celebrate human achievement. Why would someone introduce such harm and mayhem into something so profoundly peaceful?
While the US government will work tirelessly to discover and pursue the individuals behind this heinous act, we’re left to wonder the bigger question: why? Why did something like this even happen? In short, the reason the bombings happened is because we live in a broken world. When sin entered the world in Genesis 3, it corrupted everything in creation. It corrupted nature itself (hurricanes, earthquakes), human systems (families, governments), and even the human heart (those responsible for the bombing). While this answer may not fully satisfy your need for answers, it reminds us of some important truths:
- Our sense of moral outrage speaks to our sense of absolute right and wrong, something our Heavenly Creator gave us. If you’re angry about this bombing (as you should be), you’re angry because you have this inner sense that the bombing was wrong (which it was). That inner sense of right and wrong is God’s imprint on you. He gave you that inner moral compass that screams outrage when senseless acts of terror like this take place.
- The effects of sin are like shrapnel from a bomb: destructive and unpredictable. When a bomb goes off, the effects within the blast radius will be unpredictable; collateral damage. Sin is like a bomb that went off in the world, and we’re all within the blast radius. The effects of sin are unpredictable. That’s why some get cancer, some get in car accidents, and some live long, healthy lives. Did those three who died in the bombings do anything to deserve that kind of death? No. But sin is like that. Unfortunately, they got caught in the blast radius of a broken world.
- America lives in a bubble. Our sense of outrage against this type of event is magnified because it is thankfully so rare here. Just a brief reading of the world news section will reveal that the majority of the human population has to live with this threat of terror every day. While this type of terror may be new to us, it’s not new to vacationers in Bali or Christian churches worshipping in Nigeria. Be thankful that this is so rare in America.
- When tragedy strikes, our response should be prayers and active compassion to those in need. Whether it’s a marathon bombing or a horrific car accident, when tragedy strikes, our response as believers should be compassionate action. It’s the whole “love your neighbor” thing. While you may not know anyone personally in the Marathon bombings, you do know someone who’s been the victim of senseless tragedy in this world. What can you do to help them?
- God will one day judge the world. The Bible is clear that one day Jesus will come back and restore righteousness by judging the world and all of its sin. For those who belong to Jesus, we look forward with anticipation to his coming. Senseless acts like this makes us yearn for that Coming even more.
Perhaps the biggest question this bombing raised was, “Where was God in all of this?” Or, put another way, “If God was a good God, why would He allow bad things to happen to good people?” That question is what we’ll tackle in my next post.
QUESTION: What helps you make sense of this senseless bombing?