Disbelief. This was my initial reaction in hearing the news of the Boston bombings. My coworker informed me of the news about 30 minutes after it happened. 15 minutes before that, she had received a tweet from her sister that she was at the marathon. Although her sister was okay, I could tell that the situation really shook her.
Our sense of moral outrage was stirred up as we witnessed the destruction from the Boston bombings while considering the question: Why? With 3 who died, including an 8 year old boy, and 144 people treated for injuries, our sense of and demand for justice rose to the forefront of our being, and rightfully so.
It was in the news that came out two days later that I found an outlet to channel my thirst for justice in these bombings: the chase.
“I want to see it when it happens!”
This was my response when my wife asked me why I kept checking the news to find out if they caught the Boston bomber. The day Boston was on lockdown and the suspect was still out there, I was refreshing Cnn.com every half hour while in class. I wanted answers to questions like:
What does he look like?
Why did he do it?
Will he be dead or alive?
Waiting until the nightly newscast wouldn’t cut it for me. I wanted to be there! To see it when it happened. Why?
Because I wanted to be a part of something big, a cause bigger than myself.
With each hour passing and the Boston police getting closer and closer to capturing the suspect, I felt instantly connected to them and millions of others in the common pursuit of justice being restored in this tragedy. My boyhood desire for the “the good guys to catch the bad guy” was rekindled. Even though I didn’t do anything to help the chase, I wanted to be a part of it, to feel connected to it as I kept checking updates, and as I talked about it with friends.
In this case, it is energizing to feel a part of things being made right again. But it would be more rewarding to be directly involved with others on a greater mission for things gone wrong to be made right again.
This tells me that no matter how comfortable and convenient it would be to criticise the world behind my laptop and live vicariously through the click of my mouse, all of this will never satisfy me. At the end of the day, I was made to live outside of myself. My selfish tendencies, unconcern, and neglect for my neighbor defy who I have been created to be. I want to be a part of something bigger, a cause that is greater than myself.
What about you? Do you relate to a desire not merely for justice, but for being a part of a just cause in the world greater than yourself?