Jordan and her beau, Mark, were in Paris, sightseeing a couple of weeks ago. I am relieved that she wasn’t anywhere in Paris as last evening’s crisis unfolded. Her having been there, for me, creates a minor connection to the depths of pain in Paris. Nothing of my shallow relief hits close to the immediate suffering of thousands with the loss of their friends and family in and around Paris. Yet, it does personalize their fear, just a little bit and that is important.
Others’ pain, fear and remorse, which has no immediate connection to us, remains distant. It fits to that necessary stance of a psychotherapist/counselor, where we are not to allow the client’s feelings to root out our own. By keeping some distance between their feelings and our own we are, supposedly, better able to sort out and help the client deal with things. However, in this case it is necessary to reverse the whole thing.
My feelings mystically, metaphorically or even just personally joining with those being felt by the people of Paris and so France is necessary. As, I learned in practicing the art of counseling, I must pay attention to my rational side while giving my feelings permission to march with the people of France. At this time, they are intimately faced with the felt need to return the violence. But, I see another terror lurking underneath the terrorists choice of where to strike. Their choice to strike deep within Europe has as much to do with inflicting harm on non-Muslims as to seal off an escape route.
I am in prayer for victims, as well as for those inflicting the violence.