I cannot stop thinking about Paris. Beirut. Kenya. Potential, perhaps pending, attacks around the entire world that can happen while I’m at a concert, sitting at a bistro, pushing my children in the swing at the park. I’m nonstop checking the news, listening to NPR, reading articles to try to get a grasp of the issue because this is beyond my intelligence.
I keep picturing the real-life CIA equivalents of Carrie, Saul and Quinn from Homeland in a room in Langley, arguing about what’s best to do: drone strike? send Quinn for a direct assassination? send Carrie in to initiate, investigate, infiltrate an operation?
The options seem both plentiful and few at the same time. Nothing seems like a good solution, everything seems like an idea worth trying. At the end of the day, I feel so inadequately prepared to process the ideas of organized terrorism and what it takes to end it.
I fluctuate between wanting to invite 10 Syrian refugee families to stay on our property, those running for their lives, to escape persecution and death. I want to give them comfort, a good meal and rest for their weary bones. Then, I consider the ramifications of forged passports, mistaken identifies, intentional deception. It’s hard to know what’s right, who’s right.
How do we talk with a terrorist organization whose currency is killing, who use beheadings as a bullhorn to call others to their cause? How do we destroy killers in some way besides killing? Whose responsibility is it to lead, to strategize, to implement the plan? Simply put, whose boots are on the ground?
These are the hardest questions to answer and I have yet to find anyone with the answers.
So I resolve to pray. But can I be transparent? Prayer doesn’t feel like I’m doing anything, making a difference, helping to bring healing to a dire, horrific situation. Remember, I’m the person who recently launched a new small business revolving around the idea of a to do list and how to do more. I am left stranded, feeling as if there is just nothing I can do.
Perhaps, in this situation, the greatest to do is to don’t. Don’t add to the fear-mongering, over-politicizing, divisive discussion we read of too often. Don’t let my family live in fear, too frightened to function, paralyzed with the potential it could happen to us. Don’t let my voice be drowned out, a voice that desires reconciliation, restoration and justice. Don’t stop praying.
I am by no means qualified to speak to this issue. But really, are any of us well-versed in foreign policy, military training, negotiations and democracy? No, and yet that shouldn’t stop us from doing the one thing we are all qualified to do: pray. So, instead of feeling completely inadequate, I will find time to be on my knees, crying out, demanding, begging for healing, peace, relief. It may not feel like enough, but in reality, if my belief and faith are sincere and true, it is doing far more than we could begin to fathom.