Last night, when I heard about the attack in Nice, France, I immediately thought of my friend from France, Valérie Baron. She shared these thoughts today, which are so important as we grieve, and reflect on how to bring peace to a very hurting world.
I was thinking about my home country again today. I was there during the November attacks and I wasn't far away. I am thinking of the atrocity and fear that comes along with it. It is not pleasant, to say the least. I don't think I will ever get over the Paris, and now Nice, attacks.
It is home. A safe place that I call home that has become a not so much a safe place anymore. So much hatred and so much violence around the world... And not just France, as we have been seeing for the past few months. Can hatred, greed, and violence be reversed in providing God's love and patience to those who suffer in their misery and anger, hence the attacker?
Having lived through the November 13 attacks in my own home, and now Nice (and it's not about to stop), has shown me that crime, violence, and hatred is not going to solve anything. Prayers and love are much needed in so many ways. Give love to those who may need it most. They are broken and we are now broken again. Find the strength to be closer to God as he will protect you. Trust in God.
Amen, Valérie! What else can we do but trust in God, and pray for love, especially if you, a French woman, leads the way? As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so eloquently said, "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Retaliation and violence cannot drive out terrorism - it just fuels a cycle of violence. Our adherence to love, especially for those who believe such attacks are justified, is where it is needed the most, to win them to love before they lose their lives - with our own - due to hate. But this love is the hardest to give. It's indeed a miracle. So amen, God, please give us your love, and please comfort the families of the victims.
Photo credit: Cyril Plapied