Paris at its best
There are heartbreaking images pouring in from our brothers and sisters in France, and we weep again for this broken and fallen world. Senseless killings at the hands of ISIS are becoming far too common. Collectively our response needs to be more than outrage and yet as individuals, it's hard to know what to do.
Then I remember the collective response from Paris after the Charlie Hebdo incident and this incredible image.
Peace is marked by an absence of fear. Fear is the goal of terror, so denying that emotion is critical.
My prayer for Paris and all of us is that we can live "not afraid."
The amazing Maya Angelou says it best:
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
- Maya Angelou