“Easter Sunday bomb blasts kill more than 200 in Sri Lanka”
Not the hopeful message (or headline) I expected to awaken to on Resurrection Sunday.
Easter — the season of hope — and April – the month of hope — is a time when I want to focus on the positive. One of the last things I wanted to hear was: “The worst violence in a decade has struck the heart of a nation – bombers target churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.”
Then I began to pray and search for answers that would bring me to a place of hope, optimism, and promise.
As I reflected, I recognized that I was in that moment – when all seems to be lost, when evil seems to have won, the resurrection happens. When we experience situations of suffering and injustice, we also experience love and hope, typically through other people who awaken us to the risen Lord in our midst.
While there are still more questions than answers, the attacks (in a place that is home to multiple ethnicities and religions, with the Buddhist majority living alongside sizable Hindu, Muslim, and Christian minorities) are a reminder that injustice, hate, and evil can manifest themselves anywhere.
But, so too can love, faith and hope. There is hope in the shared message of unity from leaders and people across the globe. There is hope in the solidarity shown by all Sri Lankans, irrespective of ethnicity and religion. There is hope in the acts of people who have stepped forward to donate blood and provide other aid.
The atrocity in Sri Lanka can serve to awaken us to the need for hope to endure — particularly in times of devastation, suffering, grief, injustice, and fear.