In just the last few weeks there have been horrific terrorist attacks in Maiduguri, Nigeria; Ankara, Turkey; Istanbul,  Turkey; and Brussels, Belgium; and, I am sure, several other places which were not deemed worth of media coverage.  My heart is broken each time I hear of these attacks. I feel small and inadequate each time I hear the news and then go about my day. What are we to do? How are we to help? Ignoring the pain is not the answer; nor is making it about our fears and inadequacies.

Our Gospel passage on Sunday featured the famous verse in which Jesus tells the Pharisees that if his disciples were to stop shouting out that Jesus was the “King who has come in the name of the Lord” their silence would only mean that “the stones would shout out.”

refugee stones 2

Stone art depiction of the Syrian Refugee Crisis by Syrian artist Nizar Ali Bader (نزار علي بدر)

When the Paris attacks happened the world took notice. We changed our profile pictures to the Eiffel Tower as a peace sign and the French flag. We were Charlie. We shouted out for justice until those 5 minutes were past. But as attack after attack happens we become dulled to the pain and feel helpless in our warm homes a world away.

I don’t know how we can help aside from using our voices. We can unite with those who are hurting. We can cry out to our political leaders and let them know we won’t stand for this violence. We can cry out to God who cries with us:

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.