They are street names I recognize. An area I enjoyed many years ago. A friend and I, both in graduate school in the Boston area and great walkers, often walked through the Boston Commons and Boston Gardens and along the streets of downtown Boston. Riding the subway was a common occurrence. I knew Boston well. When the tragedy at the Boston Marathon took place this week, I felt stunned, like most of us. How could a fun event, turn into a tragedy? How could people who attended to support family and friends or who worked in the area end up dead or seriously injured? What is going on in our country and our world that too often now we weep with grieving families as they tell their stories on the news. And the sorrows in our country are part of a large tidal wave of grief as killing, maiming and injuring innocent people takes place in worn torn countries. When will it stop? What is my involvement?
We focus on people who are responsible for the tragedies that take place and rightly so. Is there more, however? Increasingly we talk about the interconnectedness of all. How do I create moments of beauty right where I am? How do I create moments of beauty with those I see or are often in contact? Am I honest and forthright, caring and thoughtful, compassionate and forgiving? How do I create moments of beauty in the midst of the pain and suffering of the world?
Christianity and other major religious traditions teach compassion, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, enlightenment. This is our vision and our hope: a world woven together by compassion, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and enlightenment, not torn apart by insecurity, jealousy, envy, bombs and weapons. How does the change come about? Perhaps by one moment of beauty at a time. One word spoken in love at a time, one act of kindness at a time, one honest conversation shared at a time. Perhaps change comes about by frequently recognizing the divine in one another.
Over and over again, tragedy after tragedy, we have seen people come together to help, support, encourage, grieve with, cry with one another. Boston is an example, Newtown is another and so many others.
May these days of spring with new life blossoming forth give us renewed reason to hope for a world living in peace…one moment of beauty at a time.
Our invitation is to embrace moments of beauty.
Blessings and peace.