Have Faith: Je Suis Paris 🇫🇷
Yesterday, my heart absolutely broke.
Even far away as I am, half-a-world away, I still watched in utter horror as the events unfolded in the City of Love.
I’m going to be candid here: My initial reaction was shock, but I shrugged it off at first. It wasn’t that I didn’t care… But this kind of thing was normal, right? Just yesterday there was also a bombing in Lebanon and a 7.0 earthquake in Japan. But I continued to listen and watched as the death toll grew.
18. 20. 25. 30. 40. 60. 100. 118. 120…
I listened to bombs and gun shots and saw pictures of bodies on the street and… Then it was real. I felt sick to my stomach as things escalated so quickly.
I was suddenly so angry. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t instantly question humanity or that I didn’t want to break down in tears of frustration watching the evils being showcased for the world. I felt useless where I was – watching the live feed from France in the comfort of my Southern California living room, retweeting while atrocities were being carried out on innocent civilians thousands of miles away.
And then I saw this tweet:
“It’s not a wake-up call, if we go back to sleep.”
It resonated with me in a way not many 160-character tweets can.
It’s true… these disgusting and unimaginable acts happen all of the time. But what do we do when they keep happening? We move on to the ‘next thing’… Remember the Cecil the Lion outrage? Kony 2012?
A few days ago, America was up in arms over red Starbucks cups.
That puts things in perspective.
Instead of focusing on sharing the bad and cursing humanity for the horrific acts that continue to happen everyday, let’s focus on the good that happens in the midst of all the chaos.
Yesterday, Parisians were opening their doors to complete strangers, using the hashtag #PorteOuverte (#OpenDoor) to give a safe haven to the hundreds of people roaming the streets, unable to get home. Social media was used to spread the word – productively. I think that is absolutely amazing. There are reports of people shouting the numbers to their flats in the streets to guide people elsewhere.
In this amazing video, thousands of people being evacuated from a football stadium broke out in the French National Anthem.
Even during a time of confusion and panic, the goodness of humanity showed through. It grew brighter and brighter, and now the world stands united against a foe that wanted the exact opposite reaction. People who terrorize others feed off of fear. Let’s prove that the world isn’t scared; it’s more motivated to show it’s strength than ever.
Let’s share the stories of the people who are able to laugh in fear’s face.
I have never been to Paris, France. I speak very little French. The side of my family that immigrated from France to America immigrated here 250 years ago. I know only a handful of people who live in central Paris, and I am not extremely close with any of them. The hurt in my heart is, I’m sure, nothing, compared to what so many people are going through today who are in the middle of this.
So remember in the wake of tragedies, to grieve with those affected in a respectful way. Provide strength, love, and support in whatever way you can. Look around you at your friends, family, and neighbors and treat them the same.
France, we pray for you. And we will stand with you.
“Serve one another… humbly in love.”
– Galatians 5:13