I can't imagine the sheer horror that the beautiful people of France must be feeling this morning as they wake up. Without their loved ones in bed beside them. Without bumping into those souls on the metro, or while they're waiting in line for coffee, or while they're settling into their desks at work and looking over, realizing that their co-worker is gone.
It's hard to find a frame of reference.
As Americans, we have 9/11 to remember.
I was in Boston, living in Cambridge, during the time of the Boston Marathon bombings and the man hunt that occurred in my neighborhood. I remember being afraid that the bomber was going to walk into my apartment building and try to hide out. That was kind of like an out of body experience.
But what what has happened in Paris is unlike other attacks. Simply because, these are other people. And every single man, woman and child who died in the wreckage of this terror matters. They matter.
I feel more than just a pain in my heart for this sweet country, this delicious city of lights that immediately swept me away with its romance, breathless beauty and vibrant history 3 years ago, when I had the privilege of visiting. But just feeling pain seems so inadequate. I am at a loss with just my words, and just the break in my heart, because I want to do something to alleviate the pain of this nation.
What can we do, friends? What can be done?
Peace on Earth seems to be battled for with the blood of our children. What can be done?
I am at a loss today. But as I plan my Thanksgiving meal and look forward to the coming Advent season, I feel a sense of guilt that there are places in the world that don't have the opportunity to feel my same sense of seemingly trivial peace. But it's not trivial at all, is it?
How can I extend my peace?
All I know to do today is to turn my questions, cries and helplessness into a ribbon of prayer. And all I know to offer to you is the encouragement to do the same. Prayers for our countries, prayers for our leaders to make wise decisions, prayers for the misguided hands that committed acts of terror, prayers for the families impacted, prayers for the loss.
Churn your confusion into a prayer of hope today.
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
- Isaiah 60:1-3