George Graham

At Times Like These, All We Can Do Is Pray

There are no words to describe the horror of it. There is no way to make sense of it. Innocent people – even children – killed and maimed. To what end? Impossible to tell. Who would do such an evil thing? Such a pointless, mad thing? Perhaps we shall know who in time. But why? That we can never really figure out.

My sister-in-law Faye will surely attribute it to the Devil. She sees his hand in all of the monstrous wickedness that surrounds us. And who am I to say that she is wrong?

What human being, however depraved, would plant bombs to blow up runners and spectators at a marathon? What would they hope to achieve by doing something so random, so futile? Yet, while yesterday’s tragedy was a rare event in the United States, it is not rare in many other countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan…

All around he globe, evildoers are at work, committing atrocities for no sane reason.


Faye would probably say we are living in the End Times, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. She would cite the prophesy that the Devil would be fiercest during the closing days of the era preceding the return of Christ.

And who am I to say that she is wrong?

Surely, some evil influence pervades this earth. Is it worse now than it has ever been? Hard to say. Consider the atrocities of the past… the Holocaust… Rwanda…

The Americas have known their share of unspeakable inhumanity. From the time Christopher Columbus set foot in the Bahamas six centuries ago to the 1890 massacre of the Sioux at Wounded Knee by the United States military Рand beyond Рindigenous populations were ruthlessly slaughtered.

But today’s horrors seem to be more frequent than ever before. They keep on coming one after the other with relentless ferocity – each more senseless than the other. Before we can recover from the Sandy Hook massacre, we are faced with the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Some day someone – someone much wiser than I – might come up with a scientific explanation for the phenomenon of evil. Someone might even be able to find a logical reason for the apparently pointless violence that wracks the earth.

But as far as I am concerned, it makes no sense.

Like the woman pictured above seeking the help of a higher power in the horror of yesterday’s atrocity, all I can do is pray.

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About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for