Much has been written about the tragic events of the last few days that invaded our daily lives. Pictures and Charlie Hebdo caricatures have been flying around. Many questions and opinions have been shared amongst friends, colleagues, family members and indeed with strangers. And many tears have been shed.
Here in Brive, a couple of marches took place: a spontaneous one on Friday, and a planned one to join in with the national initiative today (Sunday). Some friends have been profoundly distressed by the events, and have needed to talk. The boys’ schools along with all the schools in the country held a one-minute silence on Friday morning. We received enhanced security procedures for dropping off and picking-up children.
France is mourning. Yes, because of the callous, cold-blooded nature of the crimes and loss of lives. But more so because those targeted were household names, journalists the French had grown-up with. Elderly journalists, predominantly, who were sought after by name. But also because of the way the attacks hit at the heart of French identity, expression and way of life.
So, we weep with those who weep. We listen, and where possible, with utmost caution and sensitivity, we venture to offer hope in the only place it can be found; in the arms of Jesus, the one who was murdered because he upset the religious status quo.
Above all, we pray: detecting behind these events many forces, both human, and supernatural. We pray for comfort for those grieving, for wisdom for those in authority. That the outcomes would be God-leading, and not God-forsaking. That the idols of division, racism and hatred would be toppled. But that the idols of humanism, self-sufficiency and aggressive secularism would also be rejected. We pray that God’s Kingdom of peace, justice and love would come, in Brive-La-Gaillarde and in France, as it is in heaven.
We urgently invite you to join us in prayer.