Posted by: ritagone | November 18, 2015

I Love Paris

Like many of you, I’ve been to Paris more than once and have very fond memories of those trips.

france+flag         And like you, I have been shocked and saddened by last week’s attack on that city. Or any city. Anywhere in the world, when people are innocently gunned down by terrorists, it is a horrifying and deeply distressing occurrence.

I am reminded of English poet John Donne’s wonderful poem “No Man Is An Island,” which for me expresses exactly what I think we’re feeling right now. So I’d like to quote it in its entirety here:



No man is an island,

Entire of itself,

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

Or of thine own were:

Any man’s death diminishes me,

Because I am involved in mankind,

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee.


The media and public opinion and government officials are saying that another attack like Paris can and probably will occur somewhere else in the world. The U.S. is a likely recipient once again of this kind of evil.

I don’t pretend to have the answer as to how to solve this situation, nor do I have a lot of confidence in those in leadership who are capable of doing so.

So I have to fall back on one of my favorite psalms in the Old Testament, Psalm 90, verse 12: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In other words, only God – in my mind – can give us the understanding of what is happening and, more than that, where to turn in these troubled times. Nothing and no one else has the potential to satisfy all that is confused and angry within us. But it’s not easy, as I’m sure you know right now. We look around the world and wonder often where God is showing up. Or even if He cares.

So part of the wisdom we must learn is how to process God into the equation of what is happening and has happened.

Knowing that we should “never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee” is true, how can I behave today more closely to what God wants of me than I did yesterday? And how can my actions and my heart show that I am “involved in mankind”?

Those questions need to be asked and pondered over as much as questions as to who are the people who did this and how can the dead be avenged.




  1. Both the Donne poem and the verse from Psalms has been on my mind this week as well. You captured my thoughts.

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