Coffee, Theology, and Jesus

working out our messy faith over coffee

The Boston Bombings: A Sobering Reminder

I was removing wallpaper when I got the news. My brother tells me “Boston just got bombed!”. At first I thought it was a hoax circulating the internet so I checked CNN and read for myself that two bombs did indeed go off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing at least three people including an 8 year old child. Although there has been no definite answers, the bombs do appear to be home made and there’s no doubt that the attacks were well planned out.

People’s lives in that second were changed forever. People lost limbs, average citizens had to become paramedics until first responders were on sight, and for some time after the second explosion, we all were wondering if there were more than two bombs planted in the city. Thankfully this wasn’t the case.

I want to be clear right up front, these attacks were acts of terrorism. It doesn’t matter who did it, if it was from domestic terrorist, political terrorist, left-wing, right wing, Islamic, Christian, it’s an act of terror. A child lost his life, the bombs were constructed to inflict a lot of damage, and it is indeed a sad day for America. But there’s something that we often fail to forget that this is a sobering reminder of. People all over the world experience things like this everyday.

Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to pop our bubble. In America, we are fortunate enough to live relatively safe. Most Americans don’t have to worry about being gunned down, bombs are not common, and we have a fantastic government when it comes to national security. Police, bomb squads, state of the art technology, we are fortunate. Yes, yes, we gripe about government waste and over reach, but we forget that most people don’t even get an opportunity to voice their opinion. Be grateful that you can be a loud outspoken activist for your cause and not get imprisoned by your government.

Anyway, back to my point. There are children every day who deal with the tragedy of bombings. For instance, on April 15thInsurgents in Iraq deployed a series of car bombs as part of highly co-ordinated attacks that cut across a wide swath of the country today, killing at least 55 on the deadliest day in nearly a month.” (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/04/15/iraq-bombings-wave-attacks.html). Think about that, in one day 55 people were dead. And let’s not forget, these people are just as much people as Americans are. Now, I’m not diminishing the Boston attacks, or trying to make the Boston bombing less real, it is indeed very real for not only the families of the victims, but for the nation. But what I am saying is to take this moment to feel how many people feel everyday.


See here is the problem. Sometimes, in all of our hustle and bustle we kind of forget that there is a world outside of America that is starkly different from ours. We forget that all over the world there is terrorism happening everyday, that children are being sold, slavery is still a big problem, and bombings are a daily routine. Things like the Boston bombing, as heinous as they are, remind us that there is a reality out there that we are rarely used to seeing. A tragic reality for many people.


As Christians, it is our job as followers of Christ to be aware of the whole world around us. In a ever connected world, it is easier than every to hear of stories happening all over the place. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming we don’t know what to do with it, but it is in these moments that the Holy Spirit reminds us that He has us where we are for a reason. I’ve am being reminded even as type this, that prayer is an incredibly powerful tool that we sometimes underestimate because we either don’t see, or miss, the fruit of it. But sometimes, prayer is all we can do. I can’t drive up to Boston and help out there. Not only will the FBI stop me from being on the scene, I literally have no knowledge in such areas. But what I can do is ask my heavenly Father to bring his spirit of comfort to those people. What I can do is ask the God who spoke us in to existence, who holds all of eternity in His hands, who is the great I Am, the first and the last, to comfort those people, to bring those evil doers to justice, and to make His kingdom come. Prayer is a powerful thing, one of the greatest tools in our arsenal, we (I) should be using it a lot more.

In closing, here are two action steps we as followers of Christ can start taking.

  1. Be more aware of the world outside of your comfort zone. God cares about every person, not just the ones that have certain nationalities. God knows every person personally and they were wonderfully and fearfully made.
  2. Pray more. Let’s face it, most of us can’t fly over to Iraq and start diffusing bombs, but we know a God who can. We know a God who can bring his Kingdom to earth, let’s start to pray for that everywhere.

This is How We Do! (I love what I’m Seeing Church!)

I know that a lot of the posts on here give the Church a hard time.  I assure you, that it comes out of a heart to bring things to light so we as a Church can address them.  This post today though, I wanted to encourage you guys (the Church) as well as talk about what natural disasters (and things like it) remind us of. 

 

 

Here’s the bottom line Church, you guys have stepped up big time and offered your time, resources, materials, and hearts to the east coast.  It has been so incredibly encouraging to see my Facebook lit up with pictures of people helping out, statuses informing what time people are meeting together to go volunteer at a place that was affected by the storm, and I love seeing the “Hey we got to help this random person today!” updates.  If this is not the tangible Gospel then I don’t know what is. 

 

This is where the Church thrives, when emergencies happen, the Church consistently steps up.  During Katrina I knew of several churches that took bus loads of food, people and other supplies to New Orleans.  Hurricane Sandy is no different.  The Church is alive, it’s meeting beyond the normal service times and it’s punching right through the four walls that often keep us insulated from the world.  Instead of keeping bottled up and meeting once a week, we are meeting as often as we can to pray and travel to the affected areas to lend our skills and resources.  I’ll guarantee that many people who have been volunteering their time never felt so alive in their faith.  That’s because when we start living with Kingdom principles they invigorate us.  They touch a part of us that normal American life very rarely touches.  It shows us that there is so many more important things in life then us and our stuff.

 

I want to encourage you reading this not to volunteer when it’s cool, or when everyone else is doing it.  In a month, two months, three months, there will still be damage, there will still be cleaning up to be done.  Continue to give your time, resources when you can.  I personally have been busy with my dad’s company renovating a home at Union Beach that had three feet of flood water in it.  I’m still planning on volunteering time in between or after this job is complete.  I understand that not all of us have the time to volunteer right off the fly.  But I encourage you in the upcoming months to make time to get to the coast to help with the cleanup efforts.

 

Here’s the challenge Church.  Disasters like this (as sad as they are) remind us that before political affiliation, beliefs, gender, lifestyle differences, we are humans.  We are reminded when we hear about people dying that no matter what they did, it’s still a life lost and it’s still a tragedy.  Times like this remind us that human life is so very precious.  Let this be your fuel to carry in to other parts of your life.  Start getting involved in your local community more.  If you’re a Church leader reading this (thanks for reading by the way) then let this jump start your Church community in to making volunteering and serving your community a common thing.  If we really want to see America change, then start being the change right where you are.  Figure out what you can do to serve others, how your family can get more involved.  Trust me when I tell you, the world is open to Jesus, we just have to express Him in language that people can not only understand, but that people can see.

 

Be encouraged Church, you guys are doing an amazing job, keep it up, and don’t slow down when the hype of “helping out” fades away. 

 

-TW