Sunday, April 20, 2014

These Dry Bones Yet Bleed

   I suppose it is strangely fitting, isn't it, that we've remembered Holy Week these last seven days.
   You see, I'm a (proud) Bostonian. And last week, well, last week was the one-year anniversary of the infamous Marathon bombings. Good Friday was the anniversary of Sean Collier's death, and yesterday
came the one-year anniversary of the lockdown.
    My God, has it really been a year? A year, a year since my roommate and I huddled in our dorm room, unable to do anything but stare at the news, a year since I walked into a lab looking for a solvent and saw everyone gathered around a computer with ghastly images? A year since four marvelous people walked among us, and died for - for what?
    For a young man who poured his passion into destruction and died? For his brother, who seems unrepentant and might face the death penalty? 
    And then I clicked on Google News and read stories of high schoolers trapped in a sinking ferry and wives shot by their husbands, people who have no more chances to live and love, even though they deserved more. The present reality is horrific, too, and I want to hide in my little college bubble, until -
    A student at my school died in his dorm room last Monday. His name was Kevin Lee, a sophomore engineer. I didn't know him. I wish I had. His friend said he was very quiet. I have a bond with quiet people, you see, moving stealthily through life in a loud, loud world, and so, Kevin, I wish I'd known you.
    You see, friend, I found myself whispering to God, what are You doing? I used to believe in hope. I used to smash cynicism with optimism and I fully believed in the power of life over death. And hatred? I'd come to the point where I no longer believed in hatred. Obviously, hatred itself exists, but the power of hatred seemed ashes compared to love.
    And then Good Friday came, and I wondered, what is so good about this day? We're commemorating the day Goodness Incarnate was betrayed and subjected to humiliation and pain before being executed like the traitor he wasn't. 
    How unfair. How hopeless. And, God, I'm giving up on my hope, like the disciples must have. The pain and the rage are tremendous; they shake my very soul.
    The writer of Ecclesiastes was wrong when he said all was vanity. No, this life means something. 
    Tragedy, tragedy, all is tragedy.
    I feel like the valley of dry bones, brittle and scavenged, yet drowning in pain like blood. I didn't realize it was possible for dry bones to yet bleed, but here they do. And by "here" I mean in my soul.
    Like dry bones, I am no longer able to scream. I must choose numbness or die of pain. But right now I lay my soul down to sob with  the parents whose children left for a ferry trip and won't ever be back. 
    Today is Easter. A Body is scarred and full of holes, but He is alive again.
    Death and tragedy ... they lost.
    That's not the reality I know. It's probably not the reality you know, either.
    Resurrection. There's so much behind that one word I wouldn't be able to unpack it in a year of blog posts. But it's a reminder, no matter how faint the hope, that death and tragedy cannot be the end.
   Maybe all Easter seems is a pretty egg or baby colors or a dull service. But eggs hatch and babies grow and dull services end and then you're free to flee into the sanctuary of sunshine if you so desire. New beginnings never end.
    So maybe, I wonder, there's a third option. Not numbness or pain, but belief. In Resurrection.
    Happy Easter, Kevin.
    Tomorrow is the Marathon. I've always loved the swelling population of my city, the buzz in the air, the brilliant sunshine of Marathon Monday (not to mention that my university closes for the day).
    I thought for a while I'd fear tomorrow, but despite my mourning I can't fear Marathon Monday.
    Especially this year. I've heard more people will be running than ever - including my amazing brother Mark, who raised over $7500 for Mass Eye and Ear (!!!).
    So many people running, and even more cheering them on. United. I suppose that's a resurrection of sorts, right?
    Yeah, a lot of crazy horrible you-know-what has and is happening. 
    But resurrection happens, too, and so hope's not over, not yet. Not ever - even in our hardened, unrepentant, imprisoned, torn, condemned, and broken hearts, and not even when the dead keep dying. This I cling to: Easter comes.
    Good luck to everyone tomorrow. You can do it! :)
    Here's to the Easter of a city.


No comments:

Post a Comment