I could not come up with a title for this post.
I could not, and still cannot, seem to find the words to adequately express my sorrow for those left reeling in Paris.
I cannot begin to understand the complexities of the problems at hand. Terrorism and those who commit it. Innocents simply trying to provide safety, security, and love for their families. Webs of foreign policy and internal affairs. “Help our own vs. help those who flee.” Patriot vs. Christian. Fear for one’s own safety, for the safety of our country, for the fate of humanity, for the unknown.
Tragedy, pain, bloodshed, and tears are not new. For nearly as long as there has been life on this planet there has been suffering. But for the past five days, it seems to be even more present. On the news channels. In the papers. On my social media feeds. On Google, on campus, and on prayer lists. In editorials, snide comments, and jaded jokes.
While my mind can grasp the concept of how some atrocities garner more global attention than others, my heart cannot. I just don’t understand.
Some feel the need to react by speaking and acting. Pass the policy. Open the borders. Protest the policy. Shelter our own. Type, text, share, comment, tweet, and post until we’re hoarse.
I turned to the Word to try and make sense of what I see happening in the world, and the Lord directed me to Habakkuk 1:1-4:
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous so that justice is perverted.”
Through the negativity, pain, and suffering, Habakkuk continues:
“You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters. I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, through there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength […]” – Habakkuk 3: 13-19 (emphasis my own)
I don’t have any answers. I don’t have any argument, logic, viewpoint, power of persuasion, anecdote, analogy, or plan that will fix anything or provide more than a sliver of superficial comfort for those aching.
But I’m in love with the Person who has all the answers. He has eternal comfort, peace, and love. His Will is greater than any policy, speech, or course of action. He is the source of Joy and security in a world that is broken and full of sin and pain.
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” -Nahum 1:7
The world may be fearful and confused, but I know that the Lord promises good to those who believe in Him. The offer of life is available to everyone, provided they accept. And He is coming again.