Friday, April 19, 2013

My thoughts on a terrible tragedy


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The view expressed are solely those of the author and are not the opinion of Redlegs Review, its writers, owners, or the editorial staff. Redlegs Review does not endorse any religious affiliation or organization.

My sincere apologies to Mr. Adair and the wonderful staff here at Redlegs Review. In the four months I’ve been writing for this blog, arguably the best in baseball, you have given me ample leeway to write about anything concerning the Reds. I sometimes try to inject humor into my writings, as the Bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine.” But given the events from this past Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and at West, Texas this morning, I feel that I must today write as an Assistant Pastor, not as a baseball blogger.

Yes, I was disappointed the Reds were swept last weekend at Pittsburgh. I was encouraged at the Reds first ever sweep of Philadelphia at Great American Ballpark. The way the team has played in the past four games, I seriously believe the Reds could sweep this ten game home stand, and head to the showdown at Washington sporting a 15 – 7 record, but Boston weighs heavily on my mind.

Sports, in its proper perspective, are a wonderful way to take your mind off the pressures of the world we live in. Whether you play sports, coach a Little League team, have a child that plays, or an avid follower of your teams on various media devices, sports are a great diversion. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than sitting on my front porch swing, my wife next to me, Bible in my lap, a Reds game on the radio, and a tall glass of ice cold lemonade within reach. That’s pure relaxation.

I admit, I admire anyone who is dedicated enough to train their body in such a way as to handle the rigors of running the 26.2 miles of a marathon. I get out of breath running across the street. Since the first of April, I’ve been trying to walk about five miles a day, and it’s tough enough to lug my 240 pound frame around our local walking trail, let alone trying to jog five times that amount in a single day. Thank God for insoles.

As a baseball fan, I listened to the Red Sox – Tampa Bay game Monday in my office, via XM Radio. I heard the broadcasters talk about the festivities surrounding the Patriot Day holiday in Boston and the neighboring areas. They spoke of the beautiful, yet cool, weather on that day. They announced the winner of the marathon and were amazed at how quickly the champion finished. Around 2:20pm, Eastern Time, they described the unbridled joy when the Red Sox won the game with a walk off double. Thirty minutes later, all hell broke loose.

Why? What’s the point of an idiot, or idiots, to do such a deed? Is this politically motivated? Is this the work of an extremist? Too many questions, not enough answers. Those of us who look to the Bible for inspiration understands that there is evil which creeps into where good are, like weeds that choke a vegetable garden. Do we ignore it? No, we work to eliminate it. For the third time in the last twelve years, and twice in the past five months, I’ve had to speak to my children about unspeakable atrocities, September 11, 2001, the Sandy Hook tragedy, and now this. Frankly speaking, I’m getting a little tired of it. Regarding Sandy Hook, I phoned home after my seven year old son got home from school on that somber December day, just to hear his voice; he never saw my tears. My heart aches for the families of the victims, especially those who lost loved ones, and I will pray for them daily, I ask you to do the same.

If we let this event prevent us from going about the day to day business of our lives, then the terrorists win, bottom line. Some use the guise of religion and try to inflict terror to turn people into converts; others blatantly misinterpret the Bible as a way to bully its members. Those are not a religion; they’re a cult, period. Never have I read anywhere in the Bible that Jesus demanded worship. He never sent his disciples out to terrorize communities in His name. He never used fear and intimidation, only love, an unconditional love that allowed Him to “lay down His life for His friends.”

To see the outpouring of support for Boston makes me proud to be an American. If the mass singing of the Star Spangled Banner Wednesday night from the Boston Bruins fans before their hockey game didn’t send chills down your spine then you’re dead. I cried when I first heard it. We’re Americans! We built this country on God, guts, sweat and tears. No one pushes us around and nobody tells us what to do. We’ve been free for almost 237 years and I don’t see that changing…..ever! God bless America.

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