This week has been so sad with the terrible, unnecessary loss of lives, and great pain brought about in Paris by those who wish to impose their will upon others through intimidation and violence. A friend of mine, a Parisian now living in Somerset, summed it up in a simple text when I asked how her and her family were – “I’m heart sick”.
But this tragedy has also shown the goodness, and caring side of this world, with many more people from around the globe rallying in their support for the people of Paris than those few who inflicted it. In a world that so often seems full of hatred, it’s easy to miss the acts of kindness that happen every day.
There is little more that can be said which hasn’t already been written by others, and I fear that this will not be the end of the terrorism that has plagued the world during the beginning of this century. But what we can do is show solidarity for each other, treating our neighbours, friends, work colleagues and even strangers in the street with the respect and kindness that we would want shown to ourselves. Showing those who want to bully and threaten us, either through physical or subversive means that love is ultimately stronger than hate.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-7,13
Matthew Brunt, Diocesan Management Accountant