My friend, Reverend Tammy Mars once said to me “Right in the middle of everything is God. No matter how tragic something may seem, this is true.
When a close friend of our family lost her son in a gang shooting, I called Tammy. I had just been to a devastating funeral for the boy in which tears of the young and old flowed freely.
“Tammy, you once told me that right in the middle of everything is God…now tell me how God could have possibly been right in the middle of this,” I tearfully demanded.
With her usual good-natured calm and assurance, she proceeded to tell me how we had no idea how many lives or what lives would be touched or changed by this circumstance. She assured me that the ripples of good, insight, change and awareness would be generated for a long time.
I thought about this as I was writing my piece about the Boston Marathon Bombing a few weeks ago. I kept looking for the silver lining but until last week I was hard pressed to find one. I couldn’t stop thinking about innocent people who went to the race to cheer on their friends (an effort that I myself have known,) and ended up in the hospital having lost an arm or a leg. How do you find God in the middle of that?
Then I saw the video, “We Stand With You”, created by members of the Wounded Military Community. I was moved beyond words, as I always am when I get to witness the beauty of the human spirit. I want to share this video with all of you. It isn’t just for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, it’s for all of the people who have ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time and found themselves hurt or wounded in some unconscionable way. It is for all the people whose lives have been forever changed by unexpected tragic circumstances.
It’s a beautiful effort brought into existence by some very brave beings that rose above tragedy and said “No!” They would not allow their lives to be defined by a horrendous event. They would not join the “Pity Party” of those who suffer loss and then only see themselves as a victim forever more.
These beings are the true heroes in my opinion, they are the ones who know that life is for living and that it shouldn’t be limited by ones appearance. The ability to live life vibrantly and fully isn’t only available to those with perfect bodies. It is available to everyone who has the courage and the spirit to rise up and seize it.
I am privilege to personally know one such person. Lesia Cartelli, who suffered burn injuries from a terrible fire when she was very young, has risen from the ashes to create Angel Faces, an organization which provides healing retreats and ongoing support for young women with burn/trauma injuries. I will be privileged to be a therapist/counselor at the Angel Faces retreat in June. I so look forward to this life changing event, to spending a week in the midst of these young heroines, who I know have much to teach me.
It is through efforts such as this and those that you will see in the video that I have found the truth in the words of Reverend Tammy. No matter what the tragedy, no matter how horrific, right in the middle of everything is God and from God, only good can come. It’s not always readily apparent, but it is there.
Please take a few short minutes and treat yourself to witnessing how beautiful your fellow human