I did not, in fact, write these very words in my journal, but this is the compilation of the thoughts that I was thinking at the time, and they were all geared toward what I would want to tell my boy...and maybe what I will tell him someday, when something terrible happens.
24. Remembering Boston / A Journal Entry (April, 2013)
I have prayed that you would be an obedient boy, that you would love God, serve Him, and delight in our family. I have prayed for wisdom for myself, to be the best mother you could have…and yet, I know that sometimes I will make mistakes. But even as I make mistakes and (hopefully) apologize for them, I hope that you will understand and believe that I always want to do right by you, and point you to trust in the One who never makes mistakes and who gives you better gifts than I can.
This world is full of sin and evil, and there are many things that will hurt you. My desire is to protect you from these things, but I know that I cannot, since the root of these evils is in your own heart. But if you give your heart to our Lord and Maker, he will remake it so that it will not only be rid of those evil things, but it will be strong enough to survive being knocked around by this evil world until it finds rest in glory. And the new heart will not only survive but find joy in the midst of the evil. As your mother, I want to help you seek for that new heart, and to seek for the joy that can be found, even in the cruelest of circumstances. This is the only protection I can find for you in this world. I can’t force you to take it, but if you do, it will be enough.
I have been thinking about this now because something horrible and cruel and evil happened recently. Two days ago, your cousin Kate turned five. Five years holds a lot of good things. But there are bad things too, and on the same day that she started her sixth year, bad men put some bombs in the city where your cousins live (for now). They did this to purposely hurt people that they don’t know. They wanted all of
to be afraid of them, and their power, and their bombs. They thought that there
is power in being able to hurt people. And in some ways, they were right and
got their wish. Many people were hurt, and many people were afraid. America
And now, a couple days later, these bad men have been hiding in the same neighborhood where your cousins are living. Do you think that they are afraid of the bad men? Yes, I think so. I have been afraid too, for a little bit. But your father and I and your aunts and uncles, we all use our new hearts to find joy and hope. The bad men cannot MAKE us afraid. We do not have to be afraid because even if we get hurt, we know that our hearts are new and that is what God cares about. He made our new hearts for himself, and He will take care of them. That is why we do not have to be afraid—because God takes perfect care of what belongs to Him.
I am sad for the mother of these bad men. She cannot believe that they would be so bad. And I know that I would probably be the same. In my head I know that you will be bad sometimes. But more than anything, I want you to learn to love goodness, and love people and love life in a way that these bad men never learned. There is a little power in being able to hurt people, but there is much power in kindness. Having compassion takes strength. It is easy to see what will hurt others, but only those who have extraordinary vision are able to see how to help others. I will add to my prayers for you that you will be strong and kind and that God will give you a new heart with this amazing sight that looks for ways to help others.
With all my love,Your Mother