The news coming out of Paris this evening is horrible, sickening and frightening. The numbers of dead are still coming in, but the last figure I saw was 140 dead and many, many wounded. There are unanswered questions.
Already hateful comments are being made through twitter and other social sites. These same sites are also posting information for people to get help in Paris and to offer solidarity to those who grieve and are frightened. After almost every disaster natural and unnatural the United Methodist Church posts a meme to remind United Methodists that we are a people of hope and faith and prayer.
I have no special words to give meaning to this senseless tragedy and horrific act/s violence. I am not about to spout off some optimistic or pessimistic rants. I offer only stumbling, uncertain words of prayer of comfort for those who have lost loved ones. A prayer of hope for those who would sink deep into despair. Most importantly a prayer of peace for those who are deeply affected by the violence and hatred of the last few hours.
@therealbanksy posted this picture on twitter:
Here is my prayer:
O God of all the nations,
In this world stunned by violence and hatred,
overwhelmed by grief and fear and uncertainty
Make your presence real.
Be with those who offer relief
That their gifts of healing and hope
might be made real through their words and actions.
Be with those who work to secure the areas
That their efforts might bring safety and security
to those who have been frightened and hurt.
Be with those who must now respond
That their words be measured and careful
That they not rush to judgment
But instead, offer hope and promise
As more information is uncovered.
May your people pray,
May your people pray for peace,
For hope, for love and for grace
And for your kingdom of peace and justice come. Amen.
As I continue to pray, this picture comes from Paris even as I write:
May God hear all the prayers lifted up in this moment and the moments to come.