I was not planning on writing a post today, but I feel the need to send some love and prayers to Germany. Yesterday, a truck crashed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing at least 12 and injuring over 50. As I write, authorities suspect that it was deliberate, but nothing has been confirmed. According to The Guardian, witnesses say it was not an accident. Regardless of intent, people died and others will be spending their Christmases in the hospital.
Here’s what my heart did when I heard this on NPR–contracted, like the efficient muscle it is, and the adrenaline kicked in. I was driving through holiday mall traffic with Charlie and all of a sudden the world looked scary. Despite the Christmas banners and wreaths on lampposts, I caught myself edging around every turn more slowly, like something might be waiting on the other side. Those people had just been doing a little last minute shopping too.
Christmas is supposed to be full of good cheer and plenty of genial chaos. It is not supposed to bring fear. The US state department should not have to issue a “caution in markets and other public places” during the holiday season. Breitscheidplatz is a popular shopping area. I cannot help but imagine how the scene changed so quickly from festive to fearful.
But I also know that I do not want to live a reactionary life. I do not want to anticipate disaster around each bend. That is not a way to live. That is not how I want my children to live. The only way I can continue to live life rather than survive it, is to pray my way through it. I will pray for the German people and for our country now and for its future. And I will try to love my family and teach them to do the same. It feels like an apocalyptic world, so many tragedies in too short a time, but I will choose to hold on to fact that this, right now, this moment, is not the end. And because it is not, I will choose action over fear. Prayer is an action that gets me out of my own psyche. It places matters where they belong and forces me to live a life of hope over fear. Hope is a big word, full of big ideas, but it is an attitude I am chasing for good reason and good cause.
2 TIMOTHY 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”