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Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

If I can stop one heart from breaking

Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words. There are some pictures that capture, in a way that words never can, the feelings of millions of people. In our lifetime there are three or four pictures that we will never forget. Three year old John F. Kennedy Jr., saluting the flag draped over his father's coffin. The Challenger exploding, trailing a plume of smoke. And eight year old, Martin Richard, killed at the finish line at the Boston Marathon, holding a hand-made poster which reads: “No more hurting people. Peace.” 

We do not understand evil as hideous as this. It assaults our minds and hearts. We do not understand those who perpetrate such evil. They are so outside the boundaries of human community, and undoubtedly have been so deeply hurt themselves that they are numb to the stuff of life that makes us human. 

As our staff met on Tuesday morning after the bombing, we planned for the worship service on the upcoming Sunday, April 21. The theme of the service was to be for our Haiti Initiative, and what Pinnacle does to support the Harmony Ministry of Pastor Luc Deratus. Since 2008 we have partnered with fellow Christians in Haiti to build schools, hospitals and needed services.

As we talked about this service, I was thinking of the Boston Marathon boming. I was trying to understand how anybody could hate so coldly that they would gladly--gladly--kill innocent people. And as sometimes happens when we are deep in thought, the answer to my question came not directly but indirectly. The answer wasn't a philosophical or theological answer: why bad things happen to good people, or why a good God permits such evil to happen. No, it wasn't that kind of answer. The answer to the bombing in Boston came through our Haiti initiative, where we are trying to end a little of the world’s hurt.

My favorite poem is by Emily Dickinson: 

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.