This reflection by Arianne Lehn was originally published in the April 2014 edition of Presbyterians Today. Below is an excerpt of the article, with a link to the full text (as a pdf).
Running last year’s Boston Marathon was not at all what I’d long anticipated. There will always be a difference between the Boston Marathon and the 2013 Boston Marathon. Whenever I wear a Boston Marathon shirt, the question I’m asked won’t be, “Wow, you ran Boston?” It’ll be, “Did you run the year the finish line got bombed?”
Though I’m a minister and writer who continually mines words, the Boston Marathon was a day that left me none. Certain events strip our lives into silence. The ache comes from a place too deep, or the questions are really big, or the hurt is so real. On that day, I boarded buses with dear friends and headed to Athlete’s Village, where we ate power bars, waited in extensively long port-a-potty lines, and anticipated together the race of a lifetime.
There aren’t words to describe the complete exhilaration I felt as the gun went off and the race began. Crowds lined the street calling cheers and holding signs saying, “You’re not sweating, you’re sparkling,” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and, especially in Wellesley, “Kiss me.” Tiny hands of children offered orange slices; volunteers extended cup after cup of Gatorade; and the divine breath gently pushed me through each step.
Images courtesy of Arianne Lehn.