As things always do, things started out innocently enough. People woke up, did their morning routine, and went off to work. Just another normal day. That is, until bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston marathon. Suddenly, there we were, thrust back to the way we felt 12 years ago. And even though it was on a much smaller scale and only in one city, the nation held it’s collective breath as we watched the events of the week unfold in graphic, raw (sometimes wrong) detail on the 24 news cycle.
Last night, the drama came to a harrowing close as the last (as far as we know) suspect was taken into custody. The city cheered. The Nation breathed a collective sigh of relief. At this point, it seems there will be no invasion of countries, or worldwide manhunts as a result of this tragedy. And I am glad for that. A decade full of this type of storyline has exhausted me.
I celebrated last night, along with everyone else, that the perp was caught. I am glad they were able to take him alive. But, my reasons for that extend further than justice. As a Christian I know that this man, this seemingly evil man, is loved by our savior. He is loved, just as my children are. He is loved just as I am. He is loved just as you are. That is the conspiracy of grace. It extends further than the most evil thing we can comprehend. It reaches further than the human mind can grasp. If it doesn’t, than how do I know it even extends far enough to save me from my wretched sins? I am no mass murderer. I have never killed a human. But, I have lied, I have caused physical and emotional hurt to others. By all accounts, my life is not worthy of being saved, according to what God thinks righteousness is. But, my life is covered by the mighty work that was done on the cross, and so is the life of this man who committed this unthinkable act of cruelty.
If we, as Christians, claim to be pro-life then it has to extend further than the unborn. It has to respect human life no matter what age, no matter how evil. It can be no other way. Jesus won’t allow it.
As the late Brennan Manning said in his book “The Ragamuffin Gospel”,
“The pro-life position is a seamless garment of reverence for the unborn and the age-worn, for the enemy, the Jew, and the quality of life of all people. Otherwise it is paste jewelry and sawdust hot dogs.”
May this man, as horrible as he may be, be more than just sawdust and hot dogs to us.