Our niece ran the Boston Marathon yesterday,
her ninth marathon; her fourth in Boston.
The marathon is like unto the Realm of God.
Everybody cheers for everybody.
No teams, no sides, no winners and losers.
(One person wins; the other 30,000 just run.)
Andrea wasn’t trying to win; she was just running—
though she ran an alarmingly steady eight-and-a-half-minute mile.
One year she nearly collapsed from dehydration,
staggered into the medical tent at mile 22,
and eventually was able to walk the rest of the course.
Yesterday I tracked her, passing the tent, running on.

At the finish line some people raise their arms
as if they’ve won. Some kiss the ground
as if returning from Mars. They have indeed won.

Every day people around you are bearing unseen burdens,
overcoming invisible challenges,
completing a story you don’t know.
You can’t judge their pace, or how far along they are.
Your job is to cheer them on.

Heaven, you know, is actually empty.
They’re all down here, unseen, crowded around,
yelling like crazy, cheering you on.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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