Obviously this is close to home which is why it was all the media could talk about for a few days. Shortly after the attacks lots of people were changing their profile pictures to French flags to show their support for the French, particularly those affected.
When I woke the next morning I noticed someone had placed in their news feed a BBC article about an attack in a Kenyan school which resulted in even more cauualties. The interesting thing about this was that it was an old article form about 6 months ago. Straight away I started to remember the news stories over th years of many more similar attacks throughout the world that have happened recently and over the last few years. I suddenly felt guilty. How could we make such a fuss about an attack in Paris when we are almost ignoring the rest of the world.
Lots of people posted 'pray for Paris' but I don't feel like it is right to single out Paris. I'm not demonising the awfulness of what happens there but there are similar or worse things happening all over the world and we need to be mindful of them all.
I chose to change my Facebook profile picture not to the French flag, but a picture of the world. Quietly making this point that it is not just Paris that needs our support and prayers.
Similar to how the image of Aylan face down on the beach changed our attitudes towards the Syrian crisis, no dowbt, the Paris attacks will change our attitudes towards the war on terror.
A bishop I know quoted St Francis of Assisi referring to these attacks.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me show love.
There will be a lot of angry feelings among Europeans about the attack. But anger will not help the situation. We need to respond with love. That doesn't mean taking in these terrorists and deluded individuals, but showing an increase of love to our fellow man.