Though terrorism has once again darkened our world, the bridges connecting the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are illuminated in the French flag colors of blue, white and red in honor of the victims of the Paris terror attacks. The lights are simply a gesture. Yet the gesture is symbolic of solidarity with and concern for our brothers and sisters of France. Hearts around the world are broken for the people of France, and that is as it should be. Our loving concern does not change the horror that happened in Paris, but it does help create a world of more love and compassion.
The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. French news services quoted the police as saying that around 100 people had been killed at a concert site where hostages had been held during a two-hour standoff with the police, and that perhaps dozens of others had been killed in coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and four other popular locations in the city.
President Obama came to the White House briefing room to express solidarity and offer aid and condolences. “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
What happened in Paris is yet another tragedy in a world full of tragedies. Our response is to pray for the people of France, to seek God’s peace for them and for others around the world that are experiencing the horrors of war and terrorism, and to hold one another in the light of hope. Only that will dispel the darkness of terrorism.