I know you join me in prayer for the countless lives irrevocably changed by the horrific events in Boston on Monday. We pray for those who have lost their lives and those who have lost their way of life; for those who suffer from physical, mental and emotional wounds; for those who grieve; for first responders, medical professionals, community and religious leaders, and investigators; and for all, anywhere, who fear and grieve. The darkness of this week suggests that we live in a Good Friday world, but in the season of Easter we must walk in the Light and follow the Risen Christ.
You may have heard the story about a man by the name of “Tyler” who came to the aid of a young woman, Victoria, who had suffered a serious shrapnel wound in the first explosion in Boston. Tyler, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, carried the hysterical Victoria to a medical tent for treatment. In an effort to comfort and calm this seemingly inconsolable young woman, he showed her his own scar from a shrapnel injury he had suffered in Afghanistan. For Victoria, it made all the difference.
Compassion means, literally, to “suffer with,” and whenever we choose to suffer with another, our own suffering can be redemptive, healing, even life-saving. I think this is why the Risen Jesus, when he first returned to his frightened, grieving, wounded disciples, showed them the wounds of his own suffering and crucifixion, and said, “Peace be unto you.” Peace comes to those who know that, in their suffering, they are not alone.
Practice genuine compassion this week. Take the time to sit with, even carry, the one who suffers along your path. When the time is right, bear your own wounds, for their sake, not your own. Say, “Peace be with you.”
Jesus reminds us that this is the only way to redeem a Good Friday world and walk in the Light of God’s love.
Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/94813087@N00/2335025817/”>this is limbo</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>