Prayers for Paris

The world we live in is a scary place. It seems like we hear more about bad things than good, and I think the bad news is just overrunning anything good that is going on. We are faced with constant threats. Hometown threats that involve petty criminals, nationwide threats that make us afraid to go to a movie theater or school, and the worldwide threats that make us wonder when the other shoe will drop.

By now you have heard of the terror attacks in Paris. As I watched the coverage unfold on my TV, chills coursed through my body. It was all too familiar. I had flashbacks to September 11. It wasn’t even just that, but I thought of all of the attacks from terror groups, past and present. I have chills because I don’t know when the next attack will be. Will it be on American soil? What if someone I know is in the crossfire? It’s a scary thought.

Over 100 people dead and the number is rising. Right now, they’re reporting 6 attacks total across Paris. Maybe less, maybe more. Right now it’s so unclear through all of the mayhem. Footage shows men ripping off their shirts to tie around the wounds of others in a mall that was attacked. Floods of people are shown rushing out of the soccer stadium. Some escaped from the theater as others were shot execution style before police were able to rush in and kill the shooters.

Before today, the mood was different. It was a fairly slow news week, with the Republican debate and Starbucks dominating the top stories. The story we couldn’t seem to escape was about a red cup. A red coffee cup to be exact. You see, in years prior, Starbucks had their signature red holiday cups emblazoned with Christmas and winter designs. This year, for no reason other than what I assume to be a design choice, they went with plain red cups. You’re probably thinking, “Who cares?” Well, a lot of people. A lot of Christian people who say that Starbucks is waging a war against Christmas. They are calling for boycotts. They are going to Starbucks and saying their names are “Merry Christmas” just so the employees are forced to write it on their cups. That isn’t what a boycott is, but I guess I can understand their overall message. I can’t even scroll through my social media feed without seeing someone talking about the now infamous red cups, whether against them or for them.

I’m writing this as I’m watching the news live from Paris, and it really makes me realize even more what’s important in life. We only have this one life, and we shouldn’t go through it constantly offended by nothing or trying to pick fights with people who have differing views or opinions. We should be on each other’s side. We should be kind to others. Just maybe, if we put out more positive in the world, it will be a better place for everyone. We can never get rid of truly evil people, and for them we pray. We pray for everyone in Paris and anyone who is affected.