April 20th, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 2


They keep asking him if he feels unlucky.

Joe Berti ran the Boston Marathon last week. He was running with Champions4Children, a charity that works with children afflicted with rare diseases. Joe was one of eight from Austin who ran the Marathon for C4C, each running for a particular sick child—“training partner”—who would track his/her runner’s progress online from home.

The last four miles were tough for 43-year-old Berti, and he slowed down. But he thought about his “training partner” Drew and continued on doggedly.

“I had just run to the finish line and … I heard the first explosion, and then turned around and saw the smoke,” he said. “I knew immediately that it was a bomb. … Then the second explosion occurred and I saw a wave of people running.”

His first thought was of his wife, Amy, whom he couldn’t reach and who was probably wondering where he was. Joe reminded himself that she would be fine, because she was supposed to be at a restaurant. “But then, I was like, ‘She never listens to me, and she may have been at the finish line,’” a thought he quickly tried to eradicate.

In fact, Amy Berti was just yards from the first explosion and had just taken a picture of Joe, when the bomb went off. She was hit by shrapnel, but was fine; a friend next to her lost her leg (and three others were killed and more than 180 injured).

“It’s a miracle,” Joe said. “People keep saying, ‘Don’t you feel unlucky?’ and I was actually the opposite—saying not only do I not feel unlucky, but I feel blessed that my wife could be 10 yards from the explosion and not have a scratch.”

“We’re grateful that God has been merciful to us,” declared Amy. “We are just praying for the people who were so much less fortunate than we were.”

The Bertis left Boston Tuesday morning for Austin, hoping to put life back to normal with their two girls, 8 and 11.

On Wednesday, Joe was heading home on I-35 after a daylong business meeting in Dallas when, near Waco, he saw black smoke. As he drew closer, he felt his second explosion in two days—the fertilizer plant in West had just blown up (killing five and injuring more than 160).

“You’ve got to be kidding!” he remembers thinking, as he saw the giant fireball and felt the massive shock wave that shook his car, about 2,000 miles from Boston. “My next reaction was ‘I just want to get out of here and get away from all these explosions,’ because something fell on the top of my car—some debris or something.”

Amy Berti was not at all amused. “I’m like, ‘Honey, what is with your luck? Why are you in all of these places?’”

(Maybe I’ll befriend Joe and then buy me a lottery ticket.)

luck (lùk) • noun • the chance happening of fortunate or adverse events

That’s all well and good, but the Bible asserts otherwise:

The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.
Proverbs 16:33

Our God is in absolute control:

He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand.
Daniel 4:35

But above all, we know that:

God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Be in God’s hands … and be lucky!






  1. Nancy April 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you, Abe, for writing this today–as we need to be assured here that God is using even this “unlucky” time in this area and in Texas
    to work for Him and His glory.


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