Picking up the Pieces After Boston is a continuation of my previous blog.
For the average American, the horrific events of Boston seem to reach down deep to the very core of our souls, and leave a painful scar. You see and hear about the lives lost, the lives changed forever, and you are consumed by the overwhelming senselessness of it all. Those responsible, with the death and injury they caused, changed no one’s faith. These terrorists, in destroying their own lives and causing untold hurt and shame upon their own families, didn’t change the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East. If anything, they made the average American more steadfast in our fight against the evil these individuals and others like them perpetrate. Sadly, the God they sought to please will give them the wisdom on Judgment Day to see that they were monsters…not martyrs.
God in His infinite compassion, when these ugly events occur, seems to always provide that ray of sunshine…that glimmer of hope that there are more angels among us than monsters. I saw the following story, and it simply caused me to see those, with love in their hearts, outnumber those who harbor darkness, hatred, and despair.
For me, that ray of sunshine came from the following story…
This past Sunday, Jennifer Batugo and Brian Gargano were married in a lovely Japanese garden in Los Angeles. This doesn’t sound so strange until you hear about the backdrop to their story. For you see, doctors in March told Jennifer that she had an extremely rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. According to doctors, she may only have a few months to live…so they moved the wedding up from August to April.
Without any plans set in place, and a heartbreaking deadline facing them, Jennifer and Brian sought the help of a wedding planner. What they didn’t know, when they reached out to Elysia Skye for help, was that she was a breast cancer survivor. When she heard the couple’s story, she offered to “take care of everything.”
Skye was able to collect nearly $13,000 in goods and services towards the wedding, and also had enough left over to help with some of Jennifer’s medical bills. Skye was able to convince the owner of the Japanese garden to donate his space for a 30 person wedding party. Within 10 days, a cake, food, wedding dress, photographers, videographers, flowers…everything needed for a wedding was in place. There were no formal contracts…just the pledge of a group of caring people. In this instance, unlike the terrorists in Boston, this group of people chose to be kind to a fellow human being.
Each day offers each of us the opportunity to increase the size of God’s kingdom here on Earth. God has given us the freedom of choice to be a blessing, or a curse. Through our acts of kindness and generosity we take humanity to higher ground. Through our charity and compassion towards each other, we help others to see the goodness of God. Through our humbleness, we can lead people to God’s glory.
Let us never forget, that while a few may bring darkness in their wake, there are better angels among us who have light within their souls, given to them by God, who can erase darkness.
When something occurs, like what happened in Boston, we tend to think we are powerless…but we are not. Within us, with God’s grace, we have the power to shine a light into darkness and make it disappear.
I’d like to leave you with this…
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa