If you haven’t heard by now, they are having a very hard time finding a cemetery willing to accept the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber who was killed in a shootout with police a few days after the bombing. A lot of the cemeteries are afraid of push back by angry relatives of loved ones buried there, as well as being afraid that people might not buy lots there in the future because one of the men responsible for the bombs that left three people dead and more than 150 people injured is buried there. Islamic law forbids cremation, so they’re trying to find a place to bury this guy…. No takers.
Now, I realize that different people have different reverence for what happens to a person’s body after he or she dies. Me? I don’t care at all. If any part of me can be used to help someone who is still alive, I say “Great!” Cut me up however you would like, and use whichever parts you need. Have them all! I have some very lovely feet, turns out…. If I’m dead–Take ’em! I realize not everyone believes the same thing about burial, but seriously…. Someone give this guy a hole! I realize that we are pretty close to certain that he was responsible for the bombings, and I understand that there are many people out there who cannot forgive him for that, but he is already dead. Do we really need to even pass judgement on his remains? I’m just not understanding this.
Here’s the thing: There are murderers buried in every cemetery. There are rapists. There are adulterers. There wife-beaters. There are liars. There are thieves. I’m sure that in many cases, all of these sins are contained in one grave. Some of these same people probably have monuments around town–If we start only allowing sinless people into cemeteries, things are going to pretty stinky up here above ground. I realize this man hurt a lot of people, and I’m not saying that is okay, but he’s already paid with his life. He did something horrible, but this is still someone’s son. I don’t know…. Here’s what I’m saying: You can bury the man in my backyard. If no one else will take him, I will. My yard’s not that big, but I’m sure we can find a spot. His grave will be a reminder to me and my family of how we have all fallen short of the glory of God, and it’s not the good that we do that earns us forgiveness–or even something as simple as a resting place–But it’s God’s love and grace and mercy that are our only hope. Let us live that way.