Group Hug

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” – Kathrine Switzer

What a terrible week.

Monday morning I tossed aside everything I should have been doing in the precious couple of hours alone while the bigger boys were in school and Henry was napping to watch the Internet broadcast of the Boston Marathon. I subscribe to Runners World and they’ve had a number of stories over the past few months about the Boston Marathon – specially devoted to two American female runners who were in contention to win Boston this year. So I spent two hours ironing (and not ironing) in front of my laptop in the kitchen. Boston is a special marathon – America’s meta marathon – because you either have to run a qualifying time to get in or raise a lot of money for a nonprofit to run as a charity runner.

The broadcast of the elite runners ended at noon and I went about my day. Then I popped on to Twitter three hours later and got the first news of the bombing.

It’s a terrible event in any circumstance but even more poignant for people in the running community. Whether you’ve run a 5K or a full marathon, you know what it means to have people cheering for you during a race. I’ve both cheered and been cheered during races. In 2009, I camped out just before the Mile 26 marker at the Chicago Marathon waiting for my sisters to stager up the final hill before the finish line. The next year I ran my first half marathon.

Monday I just felt dazed. And desperately in need of a good, hard run. I injured my knee two weeks before while training for my second half marathon, but later that night I got on a treadmill and ran half of an increasingly painful mile just because I could. We live in an active town as it is, but I swear I saw at least twice the normal runners out that evening.

And then West, Texas. And then more death in Boston.

And now it’s Sunday.

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O merciful Father, who hast taught us in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of your servants for whom our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy, nourish their souls with patience, comfort them with a sense of your goodness, life up your contenance upon them, and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Group hug, guys.


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Filed under faith and things like it, run white girl run

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