I substitute teach in public schools and have for the past twelve years. Yesterday, we had a lockdown. This is a drill that schools practice in the event that a violent intruder enters the building. Students are ushered into safer places and doors are locked. I looked at the students and thought, “This is the world they’re growing up in!”
Our prayers are with the victims of the terror attack in France. We also pray for those who commit violent acts and for their eternal souls, as Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies. This attack is being called the 9/11 of France and they will mourn this day as we do each year. I often think of the people trapped in the Twin Towers — and I imagine there were many angels guiding and comforting them. There was at least one “human” angel in Paris, the Muslim clerk who sheltered Jewish shoppers from harm.
In January 1991, I was a high school senior taking midterms. The US was engaged in the first Gulf War. We were dropping bombs in Iraq and I remember thinking, “How can we go on taking tests as if everything were normal?” The war only lasted a few days but many lives were destroyed. We didn’t even discuss this in school!
Despite this, I consider the world I grew up in a more peaceful world than now. Today the violence seems more frequent, drastic, and unpredictable.
While serving as a LAMP Missionary in Queens, Glenn was once accosted by a burglar who grabbed him and intended to do him harm and possibly kill him. He was much stronger than Glenn, so all my husband could do was to call on the Holy Name… “In the name of Jesus, let me go!” Indeed, that is what happened!
The power of the name of Jesus is a comfort in our world afflicted by so much violence. As believers in the Prince of Peace, one of our tasks is to bring His peace, which comes from trust in His promises, to others. Strength for this comes from poetic passages such as this;
“The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him; he is their mighty shield and strong support, a shelter from the heat, a shade from the noonday sun, a guard against stumbling, a help against falling.” -Sirach 34:16
More and more, I reflect on the motto of the Christophers,* “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Let’s ‘light candles,’ especially for our youth, as we rely on Jesus, who is the…
“…light that the darkness could not overcome.” – John 1:5
* Inspirational Christopher News Notes are available on request