It used to be that Friday the 13th was a day of folkloric caution.
Don’t walk under a ladder! Steer clear of the black cats! Don’t step on a crack!
Never again will it be that innocent.
As I—and many of you—tried to process what happened last Friday night, these kinds of thoughts dominated my mind this weekend.
Watching my kids play outside this weekend—big, wide grins and loud giggles and dirt-smeared faces—only seemed to make it worse.
The sheer contrast of their beautiful innocence with the horror of those acts kept sending me back to one question: How could a world that has this kind of joy in it also have that kind of evil?
I read an account of one of the survivors from the Bataclan attacks who said she thought of the faces of every person she had loved, as she lay there on the floor, faking dead.
In the midst of horrors that none of us could conceive, she was focused on love. This statement took my breath away.
Maybe that is the only answer we need.
May we, as a world community, find the love we need to move on.
Pray for the strength and peace of the victims’ families. Pray for an end to violence. But most of all, pray that we don’t lose our ability to love. In the end, it is only that which will lift us.
When my kids are old enough to ask what happened on that horrible Friday the 13th, I will tell them that God called some people home too early. I will tell them that the victims didn’t deserve the cruel end that they got. But I will also tell them not to be scared, but to be focused—focused on the good in our world. I will tell them to live in the small, perfect moments that comprise each day.
Tomorrow, go outside with your kids. Watch their curls bounce as they run. Breathe in the sweet smell of their skin. Hug them and kiss their tiny hands and fingers.
And know this: Evil does not win. Only love does. And it only takes one glance at all the good that’s left in the world to remember that.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Vive la France, and vive l’amour.