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Hallo again to all.

Friday morning we awoke to the news of the double suicide attack by IS in Beirut—44 were left dead and over 240 injured. Later that night when reports began to trickle in about the massacre in Paris, we felt our hearts fall. With thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria, Lebanon was a land of passage and France a land of safety, solace, and comfort—an escape from destruction and terror. 

Mon Dieu, mon Dieu, pourquoi m’as-tu abandonné?

Only two days after Armistice Day, we are reminded of a fear and danger from which we are often removed. Bombings in the 'the Middle East' and war in 'Africa' have become so standard as to appear below the fold in the daily newspaper, if appearing at all. The attacks on the United States of 11 September 2001 and on London of 7 July 2005 are the most memorable reminders that everyone, everywhere, is vulnerable.*

Mon Dieu! Je crie le, et tu ne réponds, La nuit, et je n'ai point de repos.

We awoke Saturday morning with already heavy hearts to learn of the accidental suicide of a dear friend. He had suffered from deep depression and physical disabilities, and had survived previous suicide attempts. Suddenly, we were not praying for those people who suffered but rather found ourselves a part of the crying multitude. In this moment of sorrow for the world and now for ourselves, we find ourselves:

Mourning for the over 140 dead in Paris;
Mourning for the 44 dead in Beirut;
Mourning for the 19 killed in a suicide attack at a funeral in Baghdad;
Mourning with the thousands missing or dead while fleeing war in the Middle East;
Mourning with the thousands who have lost friends and family to suicide;
Mourning for the bright lights that have gone out;
And praying for the future of a relatively young religion.

Ne reste pas si loin de moi car le danger est proche, et il n'y a personne qui vienne pour m'aider.

Our hearts are crying both for the wider world and our own smaller world. Walking towards our own loss is somehow making the wider loss of the world more personally felt.

The last few weeks of editorials at Anglicans Online eerily prepared us for this: the tradition of Día de Muertos, followed by a tour through graveyards, and thoughts of rituals over the dead.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin is reputed to have said 'A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic'. Today, our own experience of a single death has brought back the reality of the loss of hundreds.

Pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut. Pray for Baghdad. Pray for the World and her inhabitants.

Aux confins de la terre, tous les peuples du monde se souviendront de l'Eternel.
Tous, ils se tourneront vers lui,
et toutes les nations se prosterneront devant lui.
 Car l'Eternel est roi,
il domine sur les nations.
 Tous les grands de la terre mangeront et l'adoreront,
et ceux qui s'en vont vers la tombe,
ceux dont la vie décline, se prosterneront devant lui.
Leur postérité, à son tour, servira l'Eternel
et parlera de lui à la génération qui viendra après elle.
Cette postérité publiera sa justice
et elle annoncera au peuple qui va naître ce qu'a fait l'Eternel pour le salut des siens.

Perhaps one day all will return to the Lord.  We will be a world united in praise and love for our fellow people. For now, as we mourn, we can look only for the light left in the world and whisper a small but deep, Alelluia, Allelluia, Allelluia.


See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

15 November 2015

*Which somehow weigh differenly though no less painfully on our hearts as the more targeted attacks such as those at the Boston (USA) Marathon, the 11-M 2004 train bombing in Madrid, and the Charlie Hebdo offices.

From Psalm 22:
My God, my God why have you forsaken me?

I cry in the day but you do not answer, by night as well, but I find no rest.

Be not far from me for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship:
all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him:
and none can keep alive his own soul.
A seed shall serve him;
it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness
unto a people that shall be born,
that he hath done this.

A thin blue line
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