The New Year brings usually brings talk of hopes and resolutions for the future. But in 2016 I haven’t heard so much of New Year resolutions, rather what has happened in 2015. Most are feeling sad. All the fighting, financial woes and the slaughter of innocent people is on our minds. We usually end up feeling helpless, no knowing what to do.
You would have seen the horrible events in Paris during November. One of the many tragic events in 2015 to speak of. The daily reality of many people across the globe was starkly brought home to us in the West. Like many I too grieved with the French. Again, unsure of what to do, many of us changed our Facebook profile photos as a sign of solidarity! Changing them to the tricolore somehow felt as if we were actually doing something. We were showing we were standing with the French.
While watching the news later the week a segment came on about Paris. Footage from people’s mobile phones and interviews with witnesses were being replayed from the day of the attack. Then one particular man came on. He worked in a café in Paris. He spoke of a man he saw on that night. The man was sweating profusely, he kept muttering to himself, he seemed to be arguing with himself, walking around the restroom. He then just left.
That man was later identified as a suicide bomber. According to the news report, he was meant to have detonated his bomb inside of that café but instead he went outside and killed himself, nobody else. My reaction wasn’t one I entirely expected, I was deeply saddened. Of course I’m sad whenever someone dies, but this time it was deeper. I saw a terrorist from a different perspective. The poor man, was confused. He had no one to turn to. No one was there to offer him the truth. I immediately saw love form God’s eyes. Who was there to help him? Who was there to tell him the truth? “How do they know, if nobody has ever told them?” (Romans 10:14).
I saw a terrorist from a different perspective. The poor man, was confused. He had no one to turn to. No one was there to offer him the truth.
This got me thinking; how exactly can an average Joe like me help? The answer can be wide and varied; but probably the most obvious is this. I, like you, have a direct line to the Prince of Peace, the Creator of the world, and the Father of love. If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why can He not reveal the Truth to more as He did to Paul? If He taught us to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” why wouldn’t He want us to pray so?
This means all people – the victims of terrorist attacks, but also the lost perpetrators of these attacks. We still might feel useless but I know He cares deeply, He told us so! (Jonah 4:11). And He promises to hear. (John 14:14; 2 Chronicles 7:14). So let’s aim for the “hunger of souls,” as Roger Yoderian said, by interceding and “presenting our cases” (Isaiah 41:21 paraphrase) for people. Despite the sense of betrayal and hate try and find a prayer of love here and there. And through the hurt and grief, a prayer of hope.
Perhaps you want to try it. It could be praying for someone you pass on the street, on your Twitter or Facebook feed, or someone you know. Pray through the stories on the site here… Or for the countries listed here. I pray that you will long to see people know the Truth, it is the reason Jesus came, and many are in desperate need of it.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)