I'm not much of a runner. I like to walk. Although I've walked in some "fun runs," I've always wondered what it would be like to walk a marathon. Wondered what it would feel like to be a part of such a long parade. Wondered what it would be like to live those hours in my body. Taking in all that I could around me and within me. One step at a time.
And now after all that has unfolded this week in Boston, I keep wondering what it is for me, for us and our next step?
I can't imagine the pain of the folks who lost loved ones. Those who began their day with the hopes of a celebration. Those who cheered on family as well as strangers, only to have their lives turned upside down. I can't imagine the pain of the folks who were injured. Their lives will be forever impacted by those bombs. I can't imagine.
I'm preaching tomorrow at a UCC church in Roswell. Accompanying the 23rd Psalm, I'm going to use Dorotheus of Gaza's "Circle of God."
Imagine a circle,
and in its midst a center,
and from this center rays extend;
each one, each radius radiates from the center of the circle.
The farther these radii extend from the center,
the more they diverge,
the more remote they become from one another.
But as they approach the center,
they converge and come together.
Now imagine that this circle is the world,
the center of the circle is God....
The images of those first responders tearing down the fences to help the injured- even as the second bomb was going off - continues in my heart. How could they do this? What energy, what courage, what grace empowered them?
Perhaps, if we are to live our lives following and learning from the Good Shepherd, we are to live into seeing beyond ourselves and doing the next thing. Serving God and our neighbor. By entering more into the circle, we move toward God and at the same time toward our sisters and brothers. Putting a stranger in need first. Risking what we know to be true so that someone who is hurting might be helped. Stepping out (literally) in faith.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.