One of my all-time favourite songs is the Marvin Gaye classic, ‘What’s Going On’. This song was released in 1971, but now, in 2015 the sentiment couldn’t be more relevant. The first two verses go something like this:
“Mother, Mother, there’s too many of you crying.
Brother, Brother, Brother, there’s far too many of you dying.
You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some love in here today”
“Father, Father, you don’t need to escalate.
You see War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate.
You know you’ve got to find a way to bring some love in here today”.
The line that jumps out at me is, “only love can conquer hate.” That is something that we all need to keep at the forefront of our minds on a day like this. It is tempting to blame, to accuse, to use hate and anger as a defence mechanism – but it is only love and compassion that will see us through in the face of such inhuman horrors.
Marvin Gaye asked the question “what’s going on?” and we are asking it again over 40 years later. Amid the terror and confusion we saw on the streets of Paris, we also saw an unprecedented level of human kindness. Parisians opened their homes to help those in need, taxi drivers gave people rides free of charge – these gestures of generosity and selflessness are the real essence of humanity. And it is this that acts as a beacon of hope in the darkness.
Pray for Paris, Pray for those affected by any terror attack, Pray for the World.