Time stopped yesterday for many people. For those victims of yesterday’s bombings in Egyptian churches, the growth of their lives has forever been halted. There was no reason for their deaths. They did not as anything other than they lived – regular people going about regular jobs. They posed no specific threat and there was no great gain from their deaths. Their deaths were the very definition of the term “senseless killings”. Their death diminished the humanity of the human race and made those responsible less than human.
In a new cantata written for this time of the liturgical season, famed country singer/songwriter Marcus Hummon hit all the right notes. Known in Nashville, TN, the country music capitol of the world, for such hits as “God Bless the Broken Road”, Marcus has created a beautiful choral piece entitled “The Passion”. The accompanying book contains commentary on each section of the cantata and was written by Hummon and his wife, Reverend Becca Stevens.
One song in this striking cantata is entitled “Outliving the Child” and the lyrics speak to the casualties from the faithful attending their church yesterday. First, though, we should recognize that the religious places targeted posed no threat to anyone. The Coptic Christian faith encourages tolerance for all, humanitarian behavior. There was nothing gained by these killings, neither religious nor political. These deaths were truly without reason, the result of psychotic and fearful cowards having too much ammunition and mind control over non-thinking followers.
“He will be forever young in my eyes. He will be forever laughing in the fields.” This line from Hummon’s piece “Outliving the Child” explains the feelings the parents of yesterday’s victims will feel every day upon waking.
It is far too easy to call someone evil and claim they are an enemy. Any coward can do that. What takes courage and dedication and true commitment is to live a life of goodness and kindness. This is not the first time those of this faith have been targeted. Two years ago Pope Francis said prayers for such victims. Last December another attack killed twenty-five people. Sadly history is repeating itself with the attack on April 9th killing thirty-six and injuring more than one hundred.
People die every day. I realize that. My question to you is this: How are you living today? Is it with joy and compassion? The cosmetic industry makes millions of dollars each year with people trying to stay young. Salves, creams, procedures are all part of the quest to stay forever youthful.
Murder should never be an acceptable way for someone to stay forever young. Yes death is part of the life cycle but murder is not. Yesterday’s bombings were not a religious quest. They were murder. No one political platform can ever be considered successful if it comes drenched in the blood of innocent people.
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims’ families and my hopes are that those responsible have their hearts transformed. After all, the only true legacy is the one we leave based upon our actions and the number of people we helped live more successfully. The best way our legacy can stay alive is to make the world a better place, not a bigger cemetery.