Paris, Beirut and Even Indianapolis: How Long O Lord?

It’s been a challenging week for our human family around the world. Earlier this week 41 people were killed in the capital of Lebanon where there were two suicide bombings. Yesterday the world watched the beautiful city of Paris as people fled very normal Friday night activities from bombings and shootings. Some were eating dinner, others were cheering at a soccer game and many fled a sold out concert that became a tragedy. Even here in Indianapolis, the nation has heard the news of the young pastor who lost his wife to more senseless violence.

As we reflect on the week, it’s hard to imagine where we go from here. How will the world react? Will our next steps be filled with fear and anger? I’m sure there will be a militaristic response in the Middle East to the actions of terrorists. We always try to find our enemies, whether nationally or even personally. We wonder, who is against us? Even in the issues we face at home in Indianapolis or Chicago, we wonder who the enemies are. Who can we lock up?

I can’t imagine the amount of emotions that people around the world are feeling right now. There are families grieving. There are refugees fleeing more violence. Many are caught between the crossfire. We have a decision to make at this point. What will we do with these emotions?

I often read the Psalms as a part of my time of prayer. Today, I can’t help but think about Psalm 13 and praying with the psalmist, “How long O Lord?” How long will we respond to violence with more violence? How long will we respond to fear with hate and anger? How long O Lord?

My faith reminds me and compels me to choose hope, love and peace above all else. It can be easy to be scared about the things happening not just around the world, but even at home. Scripture tells us time and again, “Do not be afraid.” I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know that God is calling us to find hope and strength in Christ alone.

From Paris, Beirut and even Indianapolis, may God’s hope, love and peace rule above all else. Amen.

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