Blink: A Reflection on the Paris Tragedy

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It’s a scary world out there. A cruel and dangerous world.

Today was a scary day. So many people’s lives changed forever in a split-second. They blinked. When they opened their eyes, everything was different.

Today a earthquake shook the ocean floor near Japan. Tsunami warnings are being issued.

Today Lebanon suffered a massive ISIS attack. At least 43 people were killed in horrible suicide bombings.

Today dozens of Parisians lost their lives at the hands of merciless terrorists .

That means that tonight hundreds of people lost a family member, a friend, a coworker. They said goodbye as their loved one went to a concert, to a soccer match, or to work. They expected them to be back soon and life would go on.

But they won’t be back. And life will never be the same for them.

And what do we do about all this? We can pray.

And we pray for those affected by today’s tragedies, there’s something else we can do.

Please blink.

Look at the sunset. Notice the colors melting into a gorgeous display of God’s best art. Take a moment to study the intricate design in the snowflake that fell your jacket sleeve or to count the stars decorating the black canvas above you. Pick a dandelion and marvel at its delicate beauty. Let the autumn wind caress your face.

But even more than that, please blink away the little issues that cloud our days. For a moment forget the little spat you had with your sister over a favorite shirt. Dismiss thoughts of work deadlines for a minute. Let go of your worries over bills that need to be payed. Re-evaluate your priorities.

And blink. When you open your eyes, look at the people around you. See them. Really see them. Because many people saw their loved ones for the last time today.

Smile at the driver in the car beside you at the red light. Laugh with your coworker over a silly mistake instead of letting it annoy you. Text the friend you know is going through a difficult time. Put down your phone and connect with your family. Tell your mom you like the way she prepared the chicken for supper. Touch your grandma’s wrinkled hands and make sure she knows how much you love and appreciate her. Share the last piece of cake with your dad. Hug your sister and let her wear that shirt. Give your friend a hug.. just because.

Right now we may not know how to help the Parisians who lost so much today. But maybe we can let it change our view of our loved ones a little bit. Maybe we can pass on a little touch of kindness that will brighten this sad day for someone. Maybe we can make this world a little less scary for one person.


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