Paris

I will never understand the minds of madmen.

I will never comprehend why anybody would randomly kill people or take hostages to kill them or force demands.  And for what?

I will never find a way to make sense of all this.

Suicide bombers.  Assault rifles on patrons at a concert hall.  Explosions outside a soccer stadium.

I have these same hopeless, desperate thoughts every time an act of terror rips through our sanity.

It’s not just 9/11.  It’s a cafe in Australia.  It’s a bomb on a Russian plane.  It’s a theater in Colorado.  It’s a church in South Carolina.  It’s a federal building in Oklahoma City.  It’s the offices of a Parisian magazine.  It’s a monument in Ottawa.

It’s the moments when our safety is destroyed by demagogues.

It’s the moments when the world we wish is punctured by the moments we despise.

We look at our Facebook feed and it alerts us that the one FB friend we have in France has a status change to “safe.”  And we breathe a little easier.  And then we realize that this person – and millions others – have just had their worlds ripped apart.

Ten months after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, this happens again.

We don’t know why.  And we might blame those with similar nationalities to our imagined demons and blame them when it’s not their fault.  We might blame mental illness as an over-arching insecurity blanket when the individual, not the disease, caused the carnage.

We have more questions than answers.  And we can’t make sense of the questions.

Right now, Paris awakens to unimaginable horror, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the day the Nazis marched through the Arc de Triomphe.

And we awaken to another day of tears and sorrow and remembrance and anger and finger-pointing and hand-raising and prayer and solace and confusion.

This weekend, when you go to your church or synagogue or mosque or other house of worship, please say a prayer for those whose lives were lost in Paris.  And for those whose innocent lives were lost from acts of terrorism or demagoguery or bigotry or futility.

There has to be a solution.

Stand with those who are innocent; stand with those who want peace.  Stand with those who want to find a solution.

Please.

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