Like many people, I’ve been wandering around in a daze this week. The horrific evil that occurred in Boston has consumed my thoughts but not produced any words worth writing. And so I’ve been still. Thinking, listening, waiting for the sparkles of joy that I knew would shine through eventually.
There were some amazing moments on Monday, people running toward the carnage to provide help and comfort. Boston residents opening their homes to visitors who weren’t able to get to their hotels or who needed to stay near one of the hospitals. Runners who crossed the finished line…and then kept running to area hospitals to donate blood.
In the midst of the heartache and devastation, these moments of help and comfort reminded me of the Mister Rogers quote so many people are leaning on in these hours:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
The helpers show us that there is hope. (Slate has a video of Mister Rogers expounding on this message. I find his voice and manner comforting in a way the printed word doesn’t quite reach.)
Patton Oswalt‘s short essay also gave me comfort, especially these words:
“The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
A reminder that evil isn’t everywhere, not “even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet”.
More helpers, more hope.
And finally, today I saw Stephen Colbert’s “tribute” to the people of Boston and the marathoners:
It felt good to laugh. Even better, I felt the tiny sparkles of joy.
On Monday afternoon and again this morning, I paid my tiny tribute to the runners of the Boston Marathon with a few of my very brief “sprints”. I’m not a runner, but I wanted to do something. Along the way I figured out how to pay tribute to the spectators (MY people) who were injured or killed on Monday. On December 7th, I plan to be out bright and early at the Memphis Marathon to clap and cheer for the runners. And I’ll do it joyfully and with great enthusiasm in honor of those who had the pleasure taken from them.
How are YOU holding up?