I just read about the shootings in Paris. Typically, I’m not a news reader. The crime and violence and pain that the news reveals overwhelms me and suddenly I can’t handle the world anymore. So, I am a news avoider. Not because I don’t care, but because I care too much. It’s hard to sit by and watch people hurt one another. On purpose. It’s hard to see innocent people’s lives change in an instant for no explicable reason. It’s even harder to think about the people causing such pain. How do we get to a point where people’s lives don’t matter to people anymore. I don’t understand at all. But I want to. I want to know what I can do to be a part of change. Because there must be something that we can do. There must.
In this moment, though, there is nothing. Systemic change takes time, and the people of France don’t have time. They just have tears.
It is in these times that I am grateful for my faith. I don’t know what to do or say or think, but I do know how to pray. I know how to sit in solidarity with those who are hurting today, and I know that this small thing, done in my living room, still matters.
So, today, I light a candle and pull out my rosary.
I need the candle to remind me that the light will always shine through the darkness, bringing hope. I need to feel the smoothness of the beads as I pray to help quiet my mind and keep my hands busy during this time of pain. And I need the memorized words of the Rosary because right now my hurting heart is unable to create any of its own.
Let’s send our love to Paris tonight. Let’s do what we can in this moment.
And tomorrow, let’s work to find a way to make the light shine more brightly than the darkness.