I have wept for Paris again.
In 1999, we went to Paris for our honeymoon. It is a beautiful city, a romantic city, and I loved it. Four square miles of culture, cafes, and art. And, of course, people. I wept for the people back then. Despite the beauty, there were many sad faces, and I wanted to tell them about the One who could put joy in their hearts. But I did not.
The people were kind to me, patient with the residual of my high school French. They must have heard left-over French before, because we managed to communicate. We roamed all over the city. I was in love, and I fell in love with Paris and her people, as well.
I still love Paris.
I wept last night when I heard of the violent, vicious acts of terror committed there. Pointless murders of innocents who had not harmed the perpetrators. I grieve for those who died, for those who were wounded, for all those who have been affected by the attacks.
I grieve for us all.
When such violence erupts in a city, it affects every one of us. This is not war. This is not even a religious crusade.
This is wickedness.
What kind of evil promotes this depraved wickedness? Ultimate evil. ISIS/IS, or whatever they call themselves this week, has claimed responsibility for these murders, these attacks. They celebrate these deaths of unarmed civilians as if it proves their power, their "right". It does not. It only proves the wickedness of their souls.
How can we combat such evil?
The world will not want to hear the solution, but only Ultimate Good can deal with this kind of evil.
When faced with an impending Aramean attack, Jehosophat prayed, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (2 Chron 20:12)
When faced with the threat of the Assyrians, Hezekiah prayed, "And now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, O Lord, art God." (2 Kings 19:19)
They were in desperate need of intervention from the Most High God and they knew it.
When those great kings prayed for deliverance from evil, deliverance was given.
So must we bend our knees and humble our hearts in prayer for deliverance from this great evil that threatens us.
I prayed for the people of Paris last night, and for all those who love Paris. I will continue to pray that their suffering will not be wasted. I pray that the One who created them will heal their broken hearts and that, somehow, great good will come from this.
I did not want to pray for those attackers, but yesterday I spent hours writing of one who had prayed for his attackers and loved his enemies, even though it was hard.
I did not want to, but I prayed for the terrorists last night. I had no choice, for Jesus said, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt 5:44)
I pray that their sin will be ever before them and their only relief will be in repentance.
This is a battle that will not be won with guns and bombs and strategy.
It is a battle to be won on our knees.
We can do more than we know for the people of Paris. We can do more than we realize to fight the terrorists of ISIS. We can do more, but our weapons must be those of humbled hearts, bent knees, and impassioned prayers for the intervention of God.
We can do more than we know, if we will.
There is much to distract us today, but those who are grieving in Paris will not be distracted. Let us take time to help them. Let us take time to pray.
photo courtesy of freeimages.com
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: Grateful Heart: Superheroes and Missions Conference , The Blessings That Were Not, Loss of Power, Grateful Heart: Veterans, Grateful Heart: Laughter and Grateful Heart: Worldwide Kindness.
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