By Parker Windle
Nov. 13, 2015
Normally I don’t like to react. I prefer to reflect. I am going to rush through my reflection time and react this time. I am going to shoot from the hip. Don’t worry though-my aim will be true.
We have reflected. Two thousand fifteen began with Charlie Hebdo. Paris has already mourned this year. A hashtag of human empathy reigned supreme at that time. #iamcharlie. We went through it together, despite the fact that the target offended everyone. We celebrated free speech. We celebrated freedom of the press. We grabbed hands and declared liberté, égalité, fraternité. Paris went through it together.
Yet One was left out of the mourning process by the Parisians, and we need a new hashtag.
Not many like to pray anymore. Not many ever liked to pray. Praying is hard for more reasons than one. It is an abandoning of self-sufficiency. It is a declaration that empathy for the fallen and a boasting in the human spirit is not enough. Prayer is about something bigger; or rather, Someone bigger. Someone bigger is what we need right now. It is time to admit it. We need God.
I know you don’t like hearing that. We never do. God is the last place we want to go. Dumas wrote about it in his character Edmund Dantes. The Count of Monte Cristo himself would only turn to God as a last resort. Listen to Monsieur Dumas explain it to us:
"enfin il tomba du haut de son orgueil, il pria, non pas encore Dieu, mais les hommes; Dieu est le dernier recours. Le malheureux, qui devrait commencer par le Seigneur, n’en arrive a espérer en lui qu’après avoir épuisé toutes les autres espérances."
For you English speakers, who jumped through that, let me explain the situation. Only after he fell from the top of his pride to the very lowest place did our hero turn to God. God was the last option for him, and he turned to God only when he was down to his last hope. Parisians, we are in the cell with Dantes. After Charlie, we turned to each other. We turned to men. It is now time to turn to God.
No more seeking hope in men. No more blaming God for men’s evil. No more thinking that you are sufficient for what you need. No more lack of thanksgiving for the common grace that God is distributing. No more hope in kings and rulers. No more belief in the general benevolence of mankind. These things have not been successful. These things are not successful. These things will not be successful.
Instead, let the wicked man forsake his ways (and that means you and me, my Parisian friends). Let us turn to the Lord, who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. The Lord who hears our cries and weeps for our pain. The Lord who understands our suffering, because he willingly entered into it Himself. Jesus. This is where we must turn. On a épuisé toutes les autres espérances. We have exhausted the other sources of hope. There is only One left.
And there was always only One. This only makes us realize it. We should have started with him. Now we are obliged.
So we must use a new hashtag.
Originally posted on Parker's blog here.
, who serves as a pastor of a church in Paris, is a Beeson graduate.