There has been horrific violence on innocent people. As I write, details are sketchy, all that is known for sure is that there are more than 100 deaths and 300 people injured. It is the worst attack in the city of Paris since World War II.
This type of attack is so disturbing. It happened on a Friday evening, not on a battle field but in restaurants, a sports stadium, and a concert venue. People were out for fun at the end of the usual work week. That we may not be safe when out for an evening is appalling.
Humans need to feel safe and secure. If we do not, we can not function well for long. That is why terror attacks are prevalent and it also why news media cover them so avidly.
It is appalling also that we may not be safe in schools or churches. Sadly, many people are not truly safe in their own homes, as they may be subject to abuse. Sadly too, those who grow up in violence seem to learn that violence is the norm and often subject others to it.
Some may ask, where is God in all this?
God's promise is to be with us, always. Every person affected by these acts of terror is a child of God. Every single human being born was, or is, or will be, a child of God, even those who carry out terrible acts upon others. I believe God weeps because of violence happening to and through the acts of God's children.
I know that God promises to be with us always. We do not always perceive it. But God is present in those who help the victims, in the first responders, the doctors and nurses, and in the bystanders who offer aid to the injured or comfort to the dying. That God is present in those of us the world over who see the news and react in fear or anger. God urges us to think and pray..that even a thought, “those poor people”, is indeed a prayer of compassion.
We can pray. We can pray for those responders, for the victims and their families. We can pray for government officials in every country as they react and determine strategies for the future. And we can pray that those who act in violence will realize the error of their ways and that atrocities will cease and desist. We can pray that ALL of God's children, everywhere, know that God is Love and we are created to care for one another, not to hate. That hate and terror are acts of evil. We can pray that all of the children of Abraham, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, one day live in the love and peace of God as we were created for.
I pray this in Jesus' Name, amen.