Paris was on my mind when I woke up this morning, Paris and its people and the heartache, the grief, the sadness and yes, the fear, that must be pressing down on them today. I imagine every thought in every mind there is colored by the events of last night, when terrorists attacked multiple sites in the city and massacred people who had done nothing – nothing – other than go out for an evening’s entertainment.
As I went about my morning routine I thought how there would be no routine for the Parisians today. I got my coffee, I checked Facebook.
And there it was.
Already we Americans are turning France’s horror into another “it’s all about us” thing. Right there on Facebook (where, face it, everything is spewed out for the world to see), the gun-rights advocates are posting memes with their favorite saying: “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” Gun-control advocates, in response, are throwing up their favorite annual gun death statistics.
Critics of President Obama are reminding the world that his face was conspicuously absent among those at the anti-terror unity march in France after the Charlie Hebdo attack and speculating that his response to this slaughter will again be “empty words.” Supporters of the president are shouting back that it’s just like the right to try to smear a good man with out-of-context actions before he’s even had a chance to act on the situation right in front of us.
You know what? Let’s not.
Let’s not turn this into the Right versus the Left. Let’s not turn this into an American political snowball fight. Let’s not use France’s grief, and fear, and soon-to-be anger as a springboard for our own political agendas.
Let’s just stand with them. Let’s hold our arms out to them, all of us together – liberal, conservative, independent – and offer them our collective shoulder to cry on, just for this short time before we go back to our respective corners and put the gloves back on.
After 9/11, France stood with us. Although we have had differences over the years, France
has always been our ally. France was with us, shoulder to shoulder, when this country was born. Without her, we couldn’t have won our independence when we did.
So let’s not, okay? Let’s just reach across the ocean and hug her right now. Let’s pray for her, and her people.
And let’s hope the Lord hastens.