It seemed like every time I turned around last week my cell phone was blowing up with text messages from my oldest daughter relaying yet another crisis going on in the world.
A couple of key events across the world are proving to be real life-changing situations.
First it was the on-going turmoil at the University of Missouri at Columbia where my daughter is in her third year of attending the journalism school. For those not familiar, there has been significant racial unrest on campus for the past few weeks.
There have been protests across campus upset about the administration’s handling of racial bias and hostility towards people of color. Heightened awareness was shed on the topic when a student went on a hunger strike, demanding that the university’s president resign. There had even been a threatened boycott by the football team.
Tensions seething at the school culminated with the resignations of the president as well as the chancellor. All of the drama has unfolded on national news throughout most of the week.
In amongst all the chaos last week, several of my daughter’s classes were cancelled mid-week because of “rumors” of a shooting that was going to take place on campus. Fortunately, there was no shooting, but the emotional scars of racial tensions continue to linger.
On Friday my daughter was the first to alert me about the deadly attacks in Paris. The apparent terroristic attacks have claimed the lives of at least 129 people, putting folks across the world into a state of mourning.
At church on Sunday, my pastor dedicated the Bible study hour to the Paris attacks in an effort to reflect on the suffering in the world. It was meaningful to have time as a congregation to stand together with the hurting and pray for the grieving and wounded. Even harder yet, the pastor challenged us all to pray for those who do these evil acts.
Attacks like what has happened in Paris are difficult to understand. Grief tends to overtake us. At times it seems as if evil is overtaking the world. It’s just my hope and prayer that Jesus Christ will reveal himself to ISIS and others and change their hearts so that all people will know that our God saves.
Just a few days before the Paris catastrophe, my daughter made final arrangements for her study abroad early next year in Belgium. Since then, I have learned there are connections between Belgium and the Paris attacks. Two people in Belgium have been charged in the terroristic attacks. Reports indicate that a Belgian who fought for ISIS masterminded the Paris attacks.
It will undoubtedly become a little bit uneasy for me as my daughter plans to head overseas for her studies for about four months. The initial response most likely would be to avoid the trip at all costs, but I also feel we can’t live a life filled with constant fear and terror. A little prayer goes a long way in helping keep things from going totally haywire.
I hope that this week and the coming weeks as we move into the holiday season will bring peace and harmony to the world. A life without those things is horrible and uneasy, at best.
It’s time we all do some soul searching and go in hot pursuit of making life better in a positive way.