Selective Sympathy

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The events that have taken place in Paris, France recently are extremely tragic. My heart has been broken for those who have lost loved ones and those who suffered at the hands of those evil men. For those of you who don’t exactly know what happened, here is a snapshot:

  • It took place last Friday
  • Three teams of terrorist groups coordinated the attacks
  • It happened at a concert hall, the Stade de France and at least two restaurants
  • At least 129 people were killed and 352 wounded in the attacks. Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported to be in a very serious condition.
  • Seven terrorists were killed, one fewer than the number ISIS claimed were involved
  • Two of the dead attackers have been identified
  • Six people, all relatives of one of the attackers, have been detained

Here is what France is doing about it:

  • 1,500 troops deployed to secure locations

  • More than 150 police anti-terror raids conducted in cities across France.

  • The French Air Force carried out bombing missions over Raqqa early Monday

Last night I was driving through town and saw the French flag displayed in lights on the local hospital and my wife told me that many people are changing their Facebook profiles by adding the French colors or flag in recognition and as support. Students have mine have been calling for prayer for the people of France (which is totally awesome!) and many politicians have publicly expressed their sympathies and support for the nation. All of this is incredibly moving and it really shows what love and compassion has no borders.

I have been left pondering one question…”where has this compassion and support been for all the other nations and peoples that have been ravaged by terrorism?” Bear with me for a moment. This was an attack on France…a modernized nation and major player in the world. But what about Nigerians? What about Egyptians? What about Syrians? What about the thousands upon thousands of Christians killed and even more forced to leave their homes? Where is the outcry by our government leaders for those people? Where’s the plethora of Facebook posts?

To reinforce my point here is a list of terrorist attacks in 2015 alone, several of which were worse than the attack on Paris.  Here are a couple from the list:

  • Date: April 2
    Death Toll: At least 147
    Perpetrator: Al-Shabab
    Location: Kenya
  • Date: June 25
    Death Toll: At least 154
    Perpetrator: Islamic State
    Location: Syria
  • Date: June 30 and July 1
    Death Toll: At least 145
    Perpetrator: Boko Haram
    Location: Nigeria
  • Date: Oct. 31
    Death Toll: 224
    Perpetrator: Islamic State
    Location: Egypt

It almost seems like the nations of the industrialized world rally behind each other but what about everyone else? Is it apathy? Is it racism? Is it even the fault of the public or is media to blame? Regardless of the cause…there is a problem. We need to call this what it is: Radical Islam’s war on the world. And we need to throw our support behind those people in the shadows, those not playing a major role in world economics, those who don’t speak a major world language, as well as our brothers and sisters in France. We need to do our part to bring justice, not just to some victims of terrorism, but to as many as we have the capability to. We need to pray for every victim no matter where they hail from.

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I’m Back!

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My life has been somewhat of a whirlwind the last month and half. My wife and I have sold our home, we’re in the process of buying another home and moving to another town, and my wife had our second child! Beautiful little Selah Autumn was born on October 11. Through these last several weeks I’ve experienced a couple life lessons that I’d like to share with you.

First: Faith is REALLY hard!

While this is not a new concept and this is by no means the first experience in my 33 years that have taught me this crucial life lesson, I have been most definitely reminded of. Previouslyit was my belief that faith was so hard because of the uncertainty that lays ahead. However, this time around it’s been a somewhat different twist. Faith is so hard because we all have a desired outcome. We have a time frame that we want things to take place in and we have ‘expectations’ of what will happen. This is true for whatever the situation is. We wanted our house to sell for a certain amount, we wanted Selah to be born while I was on fall break, we wanted so many of our offers on homes to work out, and we wanted a contract done on a house weeks ago. Guess what…none of those things happened. Faith comes as reassurance that what is taking place is far better than our own desired outcome. When we pray “Lord your will be done in my life” we better mean it because if we don’t we’ll be a mess the whole time God is working His plan out in our life. Faith is believing that God works ALL things out for the good of those who love Him like Romans says.

Second: Perspective is key.

It’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances when they cause us pain, discomfort, and inconveniences. But most of the time, someone has it worse. God cares for everyone’s life and listens to prayers no matter how ‘small’ or ‘big’ they may be. One day I found myself in self-pity wrapped up in anxiety so I started praying. While doing so I found myself praying for those on the streets, women and children caught up in sex slavery, and Syrian refugees forced to flee because of Isis. Instantly my inconveniences didn’t seem like such a big issue. Trust me, I’ve experienced some of the worst pains life can bring (divorce and death of my father to name a couple) and it would be easy to be disheartened and disillusioned by life’s hardships and trials. But it brings life to focus on what we do have, because so many in the world don’t have even a fraction of it.  1502398_10152970238627502_3178632756373832348_o-1024x1024

While so much in this world is uncertain, God’s love and faithfulness are not.

God bless!