a few humble thoughts on Paris: from an american, living in london, looking in on paris.

prayforparison friday, 129 people were killed- and hundreds more critically injured- in acts of terror performed by ISIS. in a series of coordinated events carried out by 8 individuals. ISIS is “claiming responsibility” they say. but an unjust act of war on innocent, unexpecting people? is the exact opposite of responsible. and quite frankly, a cowardly thing to claim. no matter what or whom you serve.

and the question that so often comes with all of these calamities is: “why?” and this was no different.

why would this happen? why is there so much hate? why would God allow this? why not me? why paris, again? why? why?

and as i sat on the purple couch in our house where i sit and ask such questions, i asked such questions. in the quiet morning hours before the sun and family woke up. in tears, in anger, in ache: “why aren’t you doing something, God?”

don’t you see, dear child…

the very things that they hope will destroy us, they also bring us closer together. as a people. and as people turning to God #prayforparis.

the evil that is released from the hands and souls of others, it can also bring about greater love in others than could’ve ever existed without any evil at all.

the passion that seems impenetrable in their radicalness, is stirring up an even greater passion for peace and freedom- the exact things that the enemies are seeking to steal. they cannot terrorize us if we choose to not respond in terror.

i AM there.

our God doesn’t need to totally annihilate the enemy, because His purposes are being served. and His end game is so beyond what we can see. His people are drawing closer to Him. His people are choosing LOVE when LOVE is so hard to choose. His people are mourning together and crying together and broken-hearted as they behold brothers & sisters with massive holes in their hearts and losses in their lives. He doesn’t need to make an explosion to prove something or take the life of another in order to show His power. that would be easy. and shallow.

our God? He sent us a hero, an example of how to go about life in the midst of hardship.

what do we hope for as people? purpose, love, justice. what surrounded Jesus everywhere He went? purpose, love, justice. He didn’t back down to evil, He called it what it was. He had a radical nature as well. but His was radically kind in the face of his opposers. of those who wanted him dead. there was nothing pushover about him but there was nothing violent about him either. he embodied goodness.

and as sickening as it is that such evil exists in our world against the very people that i am a part of, i also don’t want it to go away. i want it to stew. because it is what creates action and i so desperately want to act. i listen to statistics and theories and insights into what is happening and how can i help, but i still don’t know how i can. we’ve all heard to keep on living and “enjoy the very freedom that they are trying to take away” but it has always just felt like a cop-out to not actually do anything at all.

i hear a car door slam bang on the busy london street on which we live, and i shudder. what was that? i fend off worries of hopping on a public bus with my small children or leaving them for even a moment in a different part of this city. i keep digesting the realization that my husband & i had planned to be in paris that friday night that this all occurred. that one of the shootings was blocks away from where i lived as a 19-year old. why am i spared?

but i’m awakened in the other direction as well. because more evil requires more good. and i will gladly support good until the day i die.

i will share my humble and overwhelmed perspective. i will continue to affirm “solidarite” and hug my friends from france and elsewhere with “i’m sorry”s. i will pray for our perpetrators. and for the rising generation. and for those in authority. and for those who are scared, those who feel bold, and everyone in between. i will pour love out my eyes to people that i encounter on the street. i will offer a polite response. i will stick up for what i believe is right and hear out what others believe is right.

i will, indeed,live out the very freedom that our enemy is trying to destroy.

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