Originally published on johnpavlovitz.com
Paris is bleeding tonight.
We know little more than this with any certainty, and yet this is the only thing we really need to know right now.
It is more than enough to enable us to do what we are most qualified and called to do from where we are in this moment—It is enough for us to bleed too. What we do know is more than sufficient enough for us to run to suffer alongside those who are suffering.
We know that right now mothers, fathers, children, friends, spouses, lovers, coworkers, and neighbors are grieving and hurting, and though we may not recognize their faces or know their names or speak their language, it is in our grieving and hurting that we assure them that they are known and loved. Our solidarity is pledged to them in tears and prayers and the brokenness of our hearts. It is a sacred kinship offered in the raw-throated cries that we release into the face of this sickening evil.
Together from every corner of the planet, we acknowledge our shared humanity by mourning its violation. We amen the inherent treasure of all life and lament when it is terribly squandered, regardless of the reasons.
That it is profoundly wasteful is enough to believe. It is the common ground of our outrage; the agreement we make together now from every country and faith tradition. This feeling of heavy loss is the very thing which fuels our resolve to love one another well in the face of what is so very hateful. It is a force much larger than our politics or nation of birth or any man-made designation.
It can be so easy in moments like these to look toward the whys of such horror, and in doing so look past the pain in front of us; those who are presently horrified. In some ways it affords us a convenient distraction from trying to make sense of what is so very senseless.
Truth be told, there is no why that could merit it all anyway, and so this search ultimately proves fruitless and unhelpful.
So what do we do when we so want to do something?
We give a damn.
We allow the grief of strangers to become our own.
We make ourselves co-owners of their fear.
We allow ourselves to be wounded along with them.
We place their overwhelming burdens upon our own shoulders.
We pray and we cry, and together we raise a mighty, defiant middle finger to those who believe that the goodness and light of who we are can ever be overcome.
Yes, hate is powerful but it never, ever wins. Never.
No matter how much violence says, love will always have the last, loudest word.
And together while we wait patiently on this promise, in the midst of all that we do not know and cannot understand, we do the only thing we can do without delay for our brothers and sisters in Paris who are bleeding right now.
We bleed too.