The Boston Marathon is New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Over 500,000 people, 80 percent of Boston's population, show up to cheer on more than 20,000 runners. Begun in 1897, it's the world's oldest annual marathon. Until today, it was known for history and prestige. Now it will forever be known for tragedy as well.
At 2:50 PM EST, two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the marathon's finish line. Two people were killed; dozens were injured. "It sounded like a sonic boom. I haven't stopped shaking yet," said one onlooker. Security has been heightened at airports and cities across the nation. The White House believes the bombings to be an act of terrorism. At this hour, we don't know anything more about the perpetrators of this cowardly act.
In days of such uncertainty when any public event can become a tragedy, how should we respond? First, consider Psalm 91: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (v. 1). Clearly, the psalmist was writing in a time of adversity, yet five times he states his personal trust in his Lord: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust" (v. 2, my emphasis). A shelter is no help unless we trust it; a fortress can protect only those who are inside its walls. Faith does not protect us from all crises, but in them.