Thursday, April 18, 2013

Loving Big in Boston

First, thank you for your prayers, your support and love for this city that so wholly has my heart! God is hearing your cries and is responding in big, beautiful ways in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing. On our Prayer Tour, we encourage the groups to challenge themselves to see the city through God’s eyes, to see what Jesus sees. Right now, there’s no other way to see it.

Out of all that was said after the bombings, I think President Obama’s words resonate most with me: “Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city”.

This is exactly what we’re doing. I love this city; I always have. It’s the people who live here that make Boston so unique and beautiful.  Lots of people like to stereotype Bostonians as being “cold” or “mean,” but in the hours that followed the explosions, nothing could be farther from the truth. We love and we love big. When things start to go wrong, we take very good care of each other.

Here are a few of the ways I’ve seen Bostonians take care of each other and be Jesus’s hand and feet in the past two days:

  • The people who ran into the chaos rather than from it. This past Monday was Patriot's Day. It was birthed out of a church standing up for what's right, rather than what's easy, by putting the lanterns in the steeple to guide Samuel Dawes and Paul Revere. That legacy of bold and dangerous goodness came through on Monday when people ran toward danger to save others rather than protect themselves.
  • There is a Google Doc that was created so that people could sign up to host runners, spectators from out of town and residents who were displaced after the bombing. That Doc has over 5,000 entries representing 5,000 individuals who have opened their doors to help their neighbor in need.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, through the local news, had tell people to call and make an appointment, rather than just walking in to donate blood . There were so many people wanting to give that they were overwhelmed. There were even reports of marathon runners who, upon finishing the race, ran an additional 2 miles to give blood.
  • People are bringing food, coffee and gift cards to all of the first responders. There are a few pizza places that are accepting donations to bring free pizza to emergency personnel as well.  
  • A waiter at Tasty Burger, near Fenway Park, gave 2 men in uniform their dinner for free, shook their hands and thanked them for their service to our city.
  • All the church communities who have mobilized to be forces of love in a time of hurt. There have been so many prayer gatherings, and all the doors have been opened to provide love support and counseling to whoever is in need.

The explosions were terrible, but right now, people are loving each other.  All around me, I’m seeing acts of loving kindness and it’s purely beautiful. My city is shining with the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ and God is shining His light brighter and with more strength than ever.

Today, we all got up and went to work. We showed the world the same thing we've been showing them since 1630: we are strong, we will not back down and we cannot be stopped. 

I'm so proud to call this amazing, strong, bold place home and am blessed to bear witness and see the outpouring of love and amazing service that is unfolding all over the city! Please continue to pray for healing and for God to continue to use us to make Him famous. 

- Jessica Fothergill, CSM Boston Associate City Director

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