One is dead and the other in custody. The deed was done but the outcome not glorious. There is the waste and sadness.
Tonight, at our Jazz service in Rocheport, I spoke a little about the two brothers. I neither excused or explained their behavior. But I did wonder how things might have been if their lives were turned only fifteen or twenty degrees in another direction:
I wondered, in the aftermath of the great Boston drama of this week, what would have been different if those two terribly misguided young men had been led by an entirely different set of influences in their lives, different voices calling to them from the shore, insisting that the only way forward was to fish on the other side, the different way, a way toward peace, compassion and hope. If that were the case, I suspect that they would not have been those on the run in this story, creating mayhem on the way, but perhaps one of the responders or a voice for unity in their community. But no, for a myriad of reasons they had become infected with hate, hopelessness and revenge. And when your mind is infected with those things you will fish forever with nothing to show for it, except for an empty and fruitless life, one primed for frustration and destruction.
The text of the evening was from John 21, the story of the risen Jesus suggesting that the disciples fish on the other side of the boat. So often we will not and do not and we come out empty handed, or worse with blood on them. But ever so often hearts and heads are turned and remarkable things happen. It happens in places just like Boston, here, there, everywhere.