By Stan Friedman
ALEXANDRIA, MN (May 10, 2013) – Investigators into the Boston Marathon bombings continue to seek answers internationally to questions about the crime, but Covenanter Julie Miller, who crossed the finish line some 15 minutes before the explosions, has her own questions – for God and herself.
Miller, a member of Catalyst Covenant Church, said following the explosions that she is thankful God protected her and for the prayers of her friends that were offered before she raced. After she began watching the news coverage, however, expressing that gratitude became more difficult.
“Prior to this, I could have just said God protected me,” Miller says. “But this situation has made me start to question why did God protect me and not the others.”
Like most Christians, if not all, she previously considered the question of why suffering happens. “It’s not that it didn’t occur to me, but this time it really shook me,” she says.
Miller says she has been the “good Christian” who has had problems in life, but had not experienced tragedy. “Most of the time my life is a little more clear about how life operates. This is taking me beyond my comfort zone.”
Miller has been turning to the Bible for answers. “I’ve been seeing more how followers of God frequently suffered as well as received great blessing,” she says.
That’s not an answer to her questions, however. Those stories are only descriptions. While law enforcement officials hope to have all their questions answered some day, Miller figures her questions will always remain open, but she’ll be able to live with the tension.
Miller says she still will be more reticent about publically giving thanks for God’s protection, even though she continues to be grateful. She explains that she wants to be sensitive to people who have experienced tragedy and are wondering where God was to protect them or a loved one.
“I’ll be more sensitive to who I say it to and how I say it,” Miller says.
The crime also has brought other issues to the surface for Miller, who has been dismayed at the reaction of some Christians. “They’ve said we should torture him (surviving bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev). They want vengeance,” says Miller.
“That would be my natural bent, but I know that’s not the Christian way of doing things.”