At the End of a Long, Hard Week

Finally!  Saturday is here.  It is the end of a very long, hard week.  And tomorrow a new day begins.  But before I let the sun set completely on this day, I can’t help but stop and reflect on the week through which we’ve just come.

We witnessed horror as a holiday (in Boston) was turned into a time of mourning.  And yet, even in the presence of a destructive evil, we saw the best of humanity emerge and give us all hope:

boston-bombing-Jeff-Bauman

Then, we all shuddered as we realized that we aren’t safe even in the assumed safety of our own homes.  An explosion in West, Texas destroyed several blocks, has claimed a still undetermined number of lives (we know of fourteen right now).  And yet, even in the upsetting nature of a massive industrial disaster, we saw the best of humanity emerge again… and give us hope all over again.

ap_texas_explosion3_waco_wy_130418_mn

And just when we hoped things might get back to normal, we spent an entire day on the edge of our seats as chaos and mayhem claimed more lives and shut a major city down… and still, the best of humanity emerged.

boston-cop-delivering-milk

On the one hand, I am glad to see this week come to a close.  I am glad that nothing else could possible happen (knock on wood) before the clock rolls over less than three hours from now.  And yet, I am a little sad to see it go, as well.

Even though we saw horrible, terrible, awful things happen this week, we also saw humanity at its most selfless, most loving, most giving.  Strangers became life-saving heroes.  Ordinary people did extraordinary things.  All of the things that separate us were set aside in moments of need.  When our neighbors called out for help, there were no bigotries, no prejudices, no politics, no divisions.  For moment after moment this week, we were there for one another, loving each other, supporting each other, and caring for each other.

This week was as ugly as it could get.  And yet, what stands out in my mind more than any of the ugliness was the beauty that defied it all.  Like the perfect flower that grows out of the crack in the sidewalk, love and harmony wove its way through the ruins and shrapnel and debris.

Today felt so ordinary in comparison to everything we’ve been through as a nation over the past few days.  And yet there was nothing ordinary about it.  The sky was blue, the sun shone down on us, the grass was green, men and women were out tending to their lawns.  Every day the trees are a little greener, and the flowers a little brighter.  Today was no exception to that.  The miracle of life was still going on all around us.

Why is that so important, you ask?

Because when chaos comes our way as it did this week, there are always those people who gasp and claim it’s the end of the world.  In addition to the fears that we feel in horrific moments, religious fear is added to it.  And yet, on a quiet, lazy Saturday, we were reminded that life still goes on.

The grass doesn’t stop growing because of a bombing.  The trees don’t stop blooming because of an explosion.  The weeds keep getting taller, no matter how many long nights we spend in anxiety.  And it doesn’t matter how many cities go on lockdown, the flowers are still making their pollen and the bees are still gathering it.  Life is still happening.

For all I know, the end of the world might come tomorrow.  But as for today,  I have a glorious life and I refuse to relegate it to the tomb prematurely.  And even I could see the comet entering the atmosphere that is about to end life as we know it here on earth, I would still know that this is only the beginning and the “end” is never really the end.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.  (John 3:16, CEB)

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