How Far is Too Far?

Apr 22


We’ve all seen their faces plastered on every news outlet – the Boston bombers. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarvaev are the brothers responsible for the bomb explosions at the end of the everybody’s favorite race, the Boston marathon.

Tamerlan, the elder of the two, died in a gun-fight with police. But nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar ran and hid, only to be discovered later lying wounded in a backyard boat.

The younger brother’s face won’t leave me. He is a baby. Before, you go off on me about how nineteen is old enough to know better – I agree with you.

But still. I can’t help but think of my own son – my eleven-year-old who shoots airsoft guns in the backyard and hoops in the front.

Dzhokhar is somebody’s baby.

Yes, I’ve read the articles about his mother, and how it appears she was somewhat of an extremist herself. But it doesn’t change that she is a mother. And as a mother, I hurt for this woman.

My heart aches for the boy lying in a Boston hospital under police guard.

(Just as my heart aches for the mothers who lost their children in the bombing. I’d like to take a moment to mention the names of those innocent people who lost their lives that day: Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi, Krystle Campbell, and Sean Collier. My sincere condolences go out to each of their families.)

All over America today, there is hatred for this boy who caused loss of life and heartache for many. And trust me, it would be so easy for me to hate this kid.

But I can’t.

God doesn’t teach us to hate, but to love. He never said it would be easy, but He does command it.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Matthew 5:43-47 ESV

I’ve worked with kidnappers, thieves and murderers. And I’ve seen how God can change them.

So how far is too far?

How far is too much for God to forgive? How far is too far for me to forgive?

I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s right. If we are to call ourselves sons and daughters of the One True God, then friends, it’s time we get on our knees and begin to pray.

Pray for the nineteen-year-old kid who lies in a hospital bed in Boston. Pray for the mother and father who refuse to accept the video footage of their children leaving backpack bombs. Pray for the families who are waking up without a son, a father, a wife, a best friend. Just pray.

The words may not come easy. That’s okay; the Holy Spirit knows what to pray when we don’t. But I’m asking you, imploring you, begging you to pray.

And let God do the rest. Because I believe that nothing is too far for God.

The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” Numbers 11:23 NIV

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  • Leah Adams Apr 22 at 1:09 pm

    Great thoughts. I’m writing a piece about the bombers for my Wednesday post. It is entitled “Hell and the Boston Bombers”. Blessings to you.

    • Carol Apr 22 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks, Leah. Can’t wait to read what you write on Wednesday. 🙂 Have a fabulous day!

  • Barbie Apr 22 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you Carol. My heart has also been grieved for this young man. How did his life take such a wrong turn? What was his upbringing like? He did he learn to hate so much. I have forgiven him, and I pray those affected by what he did will find it in their hearts to forgive. No one is beyond the redemptive power of God. I pray for His soul. What is justice without mercy?

    • Carol Apr 22 at 1:23 pm

      I’ve wondered the same Barbie. It’s just really sad for all involved. For our part, we can work to make sure we aren’t contributing to the hate, pray for all parties and let God do the rest. Thanks, friend. 🙂

  • Carol Apr 22 at 8:34 pm

    I, too, pray for all involved in the midst of so much grief, those who have been hurt and those who did the hurting. Sunday morning as I sat in church and the tragedy was mentioned, I wondered how we had failed the young bombers and if they had crossed my path, would I have made a difference in their thoughts and intentions? God help us to live our faith and not just talk Christianese. God bless you for your lovely and thought provoking devotions.

    • Carol Apr 22 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Yes, it’s hard to practice what we preach sometimes. May God bless you as you work to live out a Christ like life. 🙂

  • Mai Bateson Apr 27 at 2:54 am

    What happened to America is very shocking around the world. Yes, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan are somebody’s baby. My heart goes to the victims of the bombing but other times, I also can’t help but think about these young brave boys. Who are we to judge? God will be the ONLY rightful authority to condemn these boys.. But with God’s unfailing LOVE and GRACE, I know Dzhokhar and he’s brother are forgiven.

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