I've never run a marathon, and I have never had the desire to do so. But I do run. And while I've never run more than fifteen miles at a time, I think I can truly appreciate how a person might feel after running a marathon.
Grateful that it's over. No matter how well-conditioned you are, I would be willing to bet that 99% of marathon runners are glad to hit mile 26.2. I've never heard anyone finish and say, "I'd like to keep running now."
So yesterday, when I read reports of people who had finished the Boston Marathon, and continued running to the hospital to donate blood to the victims of the bombing, my jaw could have hit the ground.
Wow, that's a good spirit. That's love for fellow men. That's completely opposite of what the bomber intended, I'm sure.
Then I was saddened again. As much as those do-gooders wanted to help, I am sure many were turned away. Not for lack of need, as was reported, but more likely for the safety of the would-be giver.
You can't run a marathon and then give blood. It isn't specifically stated in the Red Cross guidelines between not weighing less than 110 lbs. and being over the age of 17, but it's implied.
You see, here's how the initial interview would start:
Nurse: Have you eaten a meal in the past 3 hours?
Donor/runner: No, I think I may have burned up all I've eaten for the past 3 days.
Nurse: Have you had at least 4 cups of water to drink today?
Donor/Runner: Possibly, but then I sweat out about 20. As a matter of fact, I'm a little dehydrated myself right now. Can you pass me that IV?
As much as those kind folks wanted to help, they just couldn't. Physically couldn't. I'm sure at the least it made them sad, and more likely, they felt helpless.
Helpless. A feeling many more of us are trapped in ourselves.
So we have to remember that bad things are going to happen in this world. That was the result of sin entering. And we are not big enough, we are not powerful enough, to defeat it.
Just like the runners did not have enough power left in their bodies to give any to those who suffered in the bombing, we do not have the power to save our world from the sin of the bombers.
We don't even have enough power to save us from ourselves.
It's like we're children. My kids want to drive a car, but they can't. They don't have enough power to control a car. (Not to mention brains developed enough to weigh actions and reactions while driving. Heck, a couple of them don't even have legs long enough to reach the pedals!)
There are some things kids can't do. So they look to the adults to help them.
My kids come home and talk about bullies. Or not even bullies, but people who make them sad. I often don't know what to do, but I'm mom, and I need to do something! I'm the adult, so if I can do something, I will.
What if I can't?
I have friends whose children have diseases. Awful diseases, like cancer. So we, as adults, do what we can. We send money in to find a cure. It usually doesn't help the child get better, but it helps us feel better.
Deep down, we don't just wish we would feel better. We really want it to GET better.
There's no answer for that. Not in this world. Because there will always be evil.
I don't want to parent this world. I can't. I don't have enough power.
But a time has been foretold when this world will have a perfect Ruler. Evil will be locked away. And we will be able to see how this world was meant to be.
We will have a parent. A powerful parent who can get rid of all that is bad. I'm really looking forward to that.
This life is tough. And we can't get through it on our own. Let's put our hope in the One who will bring us a better world.
Passion Under Grace,