I started this blog in the middle of last week after a rather remarkable sequence of justice-related events in Missouri, where a hunger-striking young African-American student was backed by a unified University of Missouri football team to make a clear statement about matters of race, racism, and inclusion on campus. As a result of the combination of these forms of protest, the university president was compelled to resign; Gandhi, MLK, and Chavez would have all been proud. Missouri has historically been known as “The Show Me State,” and these young people at the University of Missouri showed the world something about courage and justice. Peaceful protest and engagement has real power, and we were reminded as such.
But then, Paris — and a frightening, gripping night of tragedy and horror. When events such as these unfold – the assassinations of JFK and MLK, 9/11, and now Paris – the pain of such events is searing, and inexplicable.
So I turn inward, and reflective, and embrace my sense of faith. In church today, after a moment of silent reflection about the victims of the terrorism in France, we joined in a prayer, and I share some key phrases with you from the “Prayer for the Human Family”:
“….Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in the bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth….”
I offer prayer for the victims and the families of victims affected by this weekend’s violence in Paris; but I also offer prayer for the perpetrators of this senseless violence, and those like them, whose hearts are infected with hatred and terrorism…..peace and goodwill to all.