My Heart Aches


My heart truly aches for the world. What has taken place this past week, not just in Paris, but also in Beirut and Syria. The ongoing clash of people that are afraid of other people. Tribe is pitted against tribe! As I preached this morning, this is not the world God has imagined, yet it is one that has functioned out of humanities need for power and fear of others.

We have clearly put Paris in the forefront of everything that has happened in the past week, even though there has been many other deaths around the world caused by violence and hate. Is it because we are like the majority of Parisians, in our whiteness and sameness, that it hits closer to home? I will admit that it hit me much harder than hearing about the Beirut bombing earlier in the week that killed 40 people.

I do not have the answers. I know that we have not seen the end of tribalism or the fight for power. Just earlier I saw that France was bombing the ISIS stronghold in Syria. Is this the right answer? Truly, I do not know. I do know that my heart aches and so do others. Usually, when that happens our first response is for revenge or vengeance. I also don’t believe there is room for reasoning with many of the those around the world that are fearful of the other and take out the aggressions through bloodshed.

All I can do right now is pray for our world. Pray that peace may overcome it and that cooler heads may prevail. May we pray not just for those that are persecuted, but also for those that do the persecuting. We have made so many advances in society through technology and engineering and many other avenues, isn’t it about time that we advance in our love for one another?

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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