Another Day, Another Tragedy

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble . . .”
Psalms 46:1

Actor-Comedian Patton OswaltWhat a week it has been! Another horrific tragedy in Boston. More hateful comments placing blame for it on Massachusetts’ embrace of marriage equality. It makes my soul tired that people can be so cruel, so vicious, and - yes, I’ll say it - stupid as bat poop! It is exhausting to try to fight off the anger; or, at least, to let it pass through me and not allow it to take root in my spirit. I’m so tempted to decide that when Jesus said, “Love your enemies” and “Forgive seventy times seven,” he couldn’t have meant these [insert your expletive of choice].

It is so disheartening, to me, when words that should affirm my faith and bring comfort do not have that effect, because we have heard them so many times, following so many human-on-human atrocities, that they come off sounding trite and empty. But one reaction this week struck a chord, not only with me but with hundreds of thousands of people. Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt posted a reaction to the event on his Facebook page. It went viral. As of this writing, it has been shared 252,447 times. Make that 252,448:

Boston. [F*****g] horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem — one human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence.

“... the vast majority stands against that darkness ...”

One of them is, every once in a while, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Thank God, he is right. He has to be.