Ten years ago this fall, I visited Boston for the first time. It was a childhood dream to go to Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox play. This was, and still is, my favorite baseball stadium because of the “Green Monster.” My wife Amy and I spent several days in Boston in addition to simply watching the Red Sox play against the Athletics. I thought that I was going to see a great baseball game and then move on with my life, but what happened during those three days that we spent in Boston changed my perspective on American History. I saw first hand the places where so many famous events took place. Before this trip, I had merely read about these historical landmarks in school. Now, these past events were coming to life. I stood on the dock where the early Americans dumped 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor on December 16, 1773. I walked through Paul Revere’s home, which was built in 1680. After climbing over 200 feet in the Bunker Hill monument, I looked out to the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution fought on June 17, 1775. I walked through cemeteries dating back almost 400 years (compared to the ones in Indiana which date back approximately 150 years). I drove through where the battle of Lexington and Concord was fought. I stood right where the Boston Massacre took place on March 5, 1770, where at least five civilians lost their life. Back in 2003, when I visited Boston, an odd thought went through my mind when I was standing on the street where the massacre happened: “I thought dozens of people died in this massacre. Only five people died. Can you call it a massacre when only five people die?” I was ten years younger then. This was after 9-11, where thousands of people were murdered by terrorists. I compared the two events and left at the time thinking that maybe it shouldn’t be considered a massacre at all. But as someone ages, their perspective changes. The next year (2004), I would become a father. And all of a sudden I started to see people from a different perspective. They were not just a number as part of a tragedy. They were someone’s son or daughter.
As all of you know, just a few days ago, three people lost their life as they were watching the Boston Marathon. Their names were Lu Lingzi, Krystle Campbell and Richard Martin. All three of them had a dad and a mom. They were real people. Take the time to let that sink in. They were real people. Not just a picture you see on the television screen. They did not wake up that morning thinking that they were going to die.
For me, when I watched the events of this last week take place in Boston, my mind raced back to the Boston Massacre. And the more I have thought about this horrific event, the more I have come to this conclusion: we have been taught for decades that a human being is nothing more than an accidentally formed group of cells that has evolved over millions of years. A human lives and then dies and then goes to the dust and doesn’t exist after that. The soul has been taken out of humanity. The worth of a human has been lowered to that of an endangered animal.
We need to realize where we have gone so wrong. We don’t realize that we are killing real people with souls that are everlasting. These people who die will go on for eternity. When these people set off a bomb, they were trying to play God. They didn’t look at it like that. Maybe they view themselves as the elite species and since it is survival of the fittest, then anything goes. But the reality is that they sent those three people into eternity. Those three people will spend eternity somewhere. The Bible tells us that eternity has two options: heaven or hell. Lu, Krystle and Richard were loved deeply by God. He created them and placed an everlasting soul in them. This soul gives humans a purpose. They are not just “3 dead” to God. And they shouldn’t be just “3 dead” to us. Think about their names. Personalize them.
Now go with me to March 5, 1770. The men who died at the Boston Massacre were Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr. They are not just “5 dead” to God. Think about their names. Personalize them. Realize that each of these five men have been in either heaven or hell for 243 years. Two hundred and forty-three years is a long time.
One of the greatest things that you can do today is to value a person’s soul. This is the opposite of what the bombers did. They disregarded hundreds of people’s souls. What can you do today to show someone in this world that you value them as a human being?