This image was drawn by a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist after the spring shooting and is circulating again after the latest attacks in Paris. I must confess that it breaks my heart.
As a Christian I don’t want to be rejected and I hope I can offer some comfort and hope to people, even if all I can do is pray. Surely prayers, even if you think they do nothing at all, don’t hurt people.
I am sorry that Christians and religion have offended people and we are now deemed to make the world worse, not better. I’m sorry our message has been unhelpful. We weep with you over this tragedy and others. The Bible tells us Jesus also wept, he knew the world wasn’t right and I love that He felt real emotions and was devastated by all the hurtful things that go on in the world. He felt human pain and He isn’t a distant deity; that’s what I, as a Christian, believe.
As a Christian I cry ‘Abba Father‘ to God. Abba means Daddy and I cry to him out of the nightmare that can sometimes be how living on this earth is. I believe Christ came to die for me, to save me, even whilst I was oblivious to Him, and didn’t even want Him to die for me. It is amazing really, a phenomenal act of generosity.
When I observe tragic events such as those that have just unfolded in Paris and Beirut, I can’t help but feel that there is a bigger picture, some evil out there that is larger than human nature. I can’t deny that there seems to be a plan that is more significant than any one of us. I’m led towards thinking there must be some deity, good and/or bad and I reject the idea that our world has simply come about by accident. Put simply, being an atheist requires too much faith for me. Humanity doesn’t seem to be some failed experiment either – there is too much goodness, in nature, in a baby’s laugh for instance, for me to say it is all here by chance. I yearn to know the cosmic plan.
As I have tried to seek out truth, I believe I have found answers in the Bible and through the Christian faith. The Bible tells me that God did not intend for the world to be full of suffering, and that He has a plan to put things right. I am trying to find the faith to discover and believe His plan.
I want to be part of a religion that inspires beauty and does good in the world. I love that Christianity has given us Handel’s Messiah and the Cistine chapel; it has also given us more charities, humanitarian aid workers and caused more people to become willing to go to dark and dangerous places than any other faith. I reject the satircial world that Charlie Hebdo creates for us too, it is not enough.
There are still many unsolved questions for me, but I hope that I can keep on seeking and find some answers; I’m willing to pray, to believe and to hope. I am thankful I can choose to do this and I remain hopeful. I will keeping praying, for Paris and anywhere else that suffers.