You know something huge has happened when my Yankees are playing the Red Sox fans' favorite song - at Yankee Stadium! When leaders from both political parties are saying, "Today there are no Democrats or Republicans."
That's what happened when bombs suddenly rained death and destruction on the Boston Marathon. The shock waves reached around the world. And brought back to my heart an all-too-familiar wave of sadness.
As always, there were the images seared into our memories. The blast. The victims. The capture.
And Bill. The 78-year-old runner in the orange tank-top. Almost to the finish line when that bomb went off. Blown to the pavement by the blast.
But in a moment, Bill was up again. And, with the help of a race assistant, crossing the finish line. Finishing second in his division.
The President talked about Bill when he spoke at the memorial service. As an example of hope and resilience. Then he looked right into the camera and addressed those fighting to recover what the bombs had stolen. Twice he said, "You will run again." It was deeply moving.
Since then, I've found myself mentally replaying Bill's fall and the President's words. Because of my race. And the times I've been knocked down.
We've all had those sudden blasts that blew us over. And threatened us reaching the finish line.
The medical bombshell. The marital explosion. The layoff. The deep wounding. The accident. The injury. The breakup. The betrayal. The loved one lost. The shattered dream.
And the painful outcomes of our own bad choices. Falling for the temptation that looked so good but cost so much. Failing to do what we knew was right. Letting down the people who were counting on us.
But time and again, I have heard a voice saying, "Get up, Ron. You will run again." And I did. I am.
And He's done the same for so many people I know. People hit with a blast that leveled them. People who might have stayed down or been carried off. But they rose again.
Because He did. After He got hit with the most savage blast anyone has ever endured.
All the weight of all the wrong of all the world - on His shoulders. All the selfishness. All the pain it's caused . All the hell of all the sinning humans have ever done. That I have done.
When millions of Americans watched the bloody portrayal of Jesus' death on the recent miniseries, "The Bible," it lit up social media. With viewers whose hearts were breaking over what He went through.
The reality, though, was awful beyond what Hollywood could ever show. As the Bible says, "It was our sorrows that weighed Him down...He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed...The Lord laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all" (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Knocked down. Nailed to a cross. Buried behind a boulder.
But He came back. And He's been running ever since. Guaranteeing that all who run with Him will cross the finish line with Him. And picking up fallen runners. Telling them, "You will run again." Whatever you've lost. Whatever you've done. Whatever's been done to you. "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19).
He's the Hope the blast cannot touch. The death-beating Savior who says, "We will finish this race. Together."