Monday, April 15, 2013

Distraught over Boston

In November, running to the finish line of my Boston qualifying race.

The past several days,  I've exchanged a flurry of texts and a few precious phone calls with my dear friend, Jessica.  Each time I heard her voice chirp over the phone, I could feel the excitement radiating from Boston to Indiana.   She was excited about embarking on her first Boston Marathon and eager to share details about her upcoming race.

I was excited for her too.  I hung on her every word and savored each details.  After all, I also had plans to run the Boston Marathon, but not until 2014.  My qualifying race was six weeks too late for the 2013 Boston Marathon cut off. 

As Jessica gushed, I grew a little sad.  Privately I bemoaned the fact that my qualifying race was six weeks too late.  If only I had run a marathon earlier in the year, I lamented, then I could be running the 2013 marathon with Jessica.

As the day progressed, I received text messages from the race updating me on Jessica's progress along the course.  With each word from the race, I shot Jessica a quick text of encouragement.  And after each response, I would think, Why couldn't I have run six weeks earlier.  I could have run today!

Minutes after Jessica crossed the finish line, she gave me a call.  The Boston Marathon had been everything she hoped: challenging, spectacular, epic.  I praised her amazing time and celebrated her performance.  As I hung up the phone I thought again about those lousy six weeks.  I could have crossed the finish line with her!  We could have our arms around each other right now with medals slung around our necks.

Moments later, I heard the news out of Boston.  I saw the video.  I started to cry.  I thought about Jessica.  I texted her.  No response.  I grew anxious.  I couldn't wait.  I called her again.  She answered.  They (her, her husband, and three children) were fine.  They heard the two explosions from a nearby subway station.  I was so relieved, but couldn't stop crying.  She was fine, but so many others were not.  

I thought about those six weeks again.  What if I had completed a qualifying race six weeks earlier?  What if I was racing along the Boston Marathon course during this horrific day?  What if my family was in the stands?  What if?  What if? 

When my oldest son came home from school.  I was still distraught.  My husband provided Caleb with some vague details out of  Boston.  He told him that evil exists in the world and bad things happen, but that God is ultimately in control and He can make things right.  He assured him that God promises one day evil will be gone.  On a day like today, that promise is encouraging.

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